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Nikkei keeps climbing, surpasses 13,900 mark

JIJI

Stocks climbed higher Thursday on the back of investors’ strong buying appetite, allowing the Nikkei 225 to end above 13,900.

The key gauge rose 82.62 points to close at 13,926.08, its best finish since June 20, 2008. On Wednesday, the Nikkei surged 313.81 points.

The Topix climbed 8.43 points to end the session at 1,172.78, the highest since Sept. 12, 2008. The index was up 20.57 points Wednesday.

Stocks attracted purchases from the outset of trading on expectations for rising share prices.

In the morning, the Nikkei moved around the previous day’s close as its upside was weighed down by selling to lock in profits after Wednesday’s surge.

But stocks extended their gains in the afternoon, buoyed by purchases amid investors’ robust buying interest as well as index futures-led buying helped by rosy performances in Asian markets, brokers said.

Brokers said investors retreated to the sidelines in the morning to wait for the corporate earnings announcement season to peak later this week and early next week, and ahead of the Golden Week holidays, brokers said.

Despite the absence of fresh incentives, stocks drew strong buying interest in the afternoon as investors were inspired by the hunt for “issues that have taken a breather,” including paper manufacturers and logistics firms, said Hiroaki Hiwada, senior strategist in the investment information department at Toyo Securities Co.

Rising issues outnumbered falling ones 1,056 to 541 on the first section, while 113 issues were unchanged.

By contrast, Canon nose-dived 6.38 percent a day after its full-year earnings forecast fell short of market expectations, brokers said. It was the most active issue by value on the first section.

T-bills support JGBs

Japanese government bonds rose Thursday, helped by higher U.S. Treasuries overnight.

The lead June contract on 10-year JGBs ended up 0.12 point from Wednesday at 144.73. Volume fell to 17,794 contracts from 23,352.

In late interdealer trading in cash JGBs, the yield on the latest 328th 10-year issue with a 0.6 percent coupon stood at 0.580 percent, down from 0.595 percent late Wednesday.

An official at a Japanese securities firm said players are still anxious about volatility.

The comment came after Bank of Japan Gov. Haruhiko Kuroda told the Diet that stability has returned to the JGB market.