By Daniel Hunter

A weaker yen has seen Japan's Nikkei index reach a seven-year high as investor sentiment soared.

The index closed up 0.3% at 17,720.43 points, the highest closing level seen since July 2007.

In contrast, the weakening yen, which is good for Japan's exporters, fell to a new seven-year low against the dollar.

Growing speculation that China's central bank is preparing to reduce bank reserve requirement ratios sooner than expected after recent weak economic data saw shares rise in morning trade.

In Hong Kong, however, the Hang Seng index had moved into negative territory by mid-afternoon, down 0.7% at 23,480.95 points. The Shanghai Composite rose 0.6% to 2,779.53.

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