Nikkei retakes 14,000 threshold as yen declines



Stocks gained ground again Wednesday as the yen weakened against the dollar, with the Nikkei 225 average retaking 14,000 for the first time in three sessions.

The Nikkei rose 143.23 points to finish at 14,037.84 The Topix gained 16.77 points to end at 1,166.90.

The Nikkei opened lower after the Dow Jones industrial average extended losses overnight to sink to its lowest level in six weeks amid persistent worries about the political crisis in the United States.

But the key market yardstick soon reversed course as the yen fell slightly against the dollar on growing expectations that the U.S. fiscal stalemate could be resolved before the Oct. 17 debt-ceiling deadline, brokers said.

Investors were relieved by overseas media reports later in the morning that lawmakers may be working to find common ground to avert a U.S. government default, brokers said.

The TSE has been greatly affected by moves in the foreign exchange markets, said Masashi Oguchi of Mito Securities Co.’s investment information department, adding that the yen-dollar rate has been “very sensitive to any kind of news on the U.S. fiscal standoff.”

Investors took heart from the slide in the yen’s value to buy back stocks on dips, Oguchi said.

He also said media reports that President Barack Obama was likely to name Janet Yellen, current vice chair of the U.S. Federal Reserve, to become the next head of the central bank helped mitigate uncertainty in the market.

Rising issues far outnumbered falling ones 1,450 to 234 in the first section, while 68 issues were unchanged.

Volume dwindled to 2.417 billion shares from 2.646 billion Tuesday.

Stocks were upbeat almost across the board, with 31 of the 33 sectors in the first section logging gains.

Yahoo Japan extended losses on lingering concerns that the online portal site operator’s decision to scrap fees it charges shop operators on its virtual shopping mall could dent its earnings, brokers said.

Japanese government bond futures ended modestly lower after moving in a narrow range Wednesday.

The lead December contract on 10-year JGBs finished down 0.01 point at 144.38.

Volume rose to 17,943 contracts from 16,212 in the previous session.