The dollar climbed, rising to its strongest level in more than seven years versus the yen on divergence in U.S. and Japanese monetary policy. Mining and energy stocks led Asian shares lower amid a rout in iron ore prices and as crude oil extended declines into a fourth day.

The greenback added 0.1 percent to 118.05 yen by 9:27 a.m. in Tokyo, touching its highest level since Aug. 14, 2007 in a sixth day of gains. The Korean won slid, while Japans Topix index added 0.3 percent. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index (MXAP) lost 0.2 percent as BHP Billiton Ltd., the worlds largest mining company, dropped to the lowest since July last year amid a 0.4 percent decline in Australias S&P/ASX 200 Index. U.S. oil fell 0.2 percent as data showed an increase in American supplies. Standard & Poors 500 Index futures were little changed.

Iron ore, Australias biggest export, has slumped to a five-year low on concern demand from China is waning as its economy slows. The HSBC Holdings Plc and Markit Economics China manufacturing index is due today, along with data on factory output in Europe and Japan. While the Bank of Japan is maintaining record stimulus amid a recession there, Federal Reserve meeting minutes issued yesterday showed U.S. policy makers debated their commitment to near-zero interest rates.

Source : Bloomberg