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    Stock Markets Close in Japan and Korea for 2009


    by NTDTelevision

    Shares in Tokyo and Seoul ended 2009 on a positive note overall.

    The Tokyo Stock exchange's Nikkei average was down 0.9 percent, on bankruptcy worries about Japan Airlines. But the index overall booked a 19 percent gain in 2009.

    Shares of high-tech exporters are boosting a weaker yen.

    Japanese golf star Ryo Ishikawa rang the closing bell on Wednesday to mark the end of trade this year at the Tokyo Stock Exchange.

    Meanwhile the Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama unveiled the outline of his government's 10 year growth plan.

    He emphasized that the new economy needs to be driven by consumer demand.

    [Yukio Hatoyama, Japanese Prime Minister]:
    "The economy has to benefit the people. To put it in different terms, it is becoming necessary to revise the thinking that has focused only on the supply side and instead we must also focus on creating demand."

    The growth strategy focuses on six areas, including Asia, science, technology, and employment.

    The strategy aims to boost gross domestic product to $7 billion U.S. dollars till 2020.

    Earlier in sight is to lower the jobless rate to between three and four percent.

    And in Seoul, shares reversed earlier losses to end 0.6 percent higher on the year's last trading day, posting a 50 percent gain in 2009. But Kumho Asiana Group shares suffered losses.

    The Korea Composite Stock Price Index finished up 10 points - much higher than in 2008.

    In 2009 foreign investors bought $26.70 billion U.S. dollars.

    Analysts say the Asian market recovered well in 2009, compared to markets in the U.S. and Europe.

    And many analysts expect stocks to rise further in 2010 as the global economy continues to mend, but gains are likely to be at a much slower pace.