Asian shares were mixed Monday. In China the Shanghai Composite Index fell 0.7% and in Hong Kong the Hang Seng Index edged down 0.3% as investors worried that inflation could rise further in the lead-up to Chinese New Year. However, Japan's Nikkei 225 Index climbed 0.7%.
Shares in Japanese consumer lenders surged on the news that plans are in the works for Osaka to become a special business zone. This would make it exempt from the heavy regulations that have strangled Japanese lenders with restrictions.