/ |

Nikkei retakes 17,000 on weaker yen


Tokyo stocks snapped their four-session losing streak on Tuesday as the yen weakened against the dollar.

The Nikkei gained 323.74 points, or 1.94 percent, to close at 17,048.55. On Friday, it gave up 211.57 points. The market was closed on Monday for a national holiday.

The Topix ended up 24.88 points, or 1.85 percent, at 1,369.93, after slumping 13.92 points the previous trading day.

Stocks attracted buying from the outset of Tuesday’s trading after the Dow extended its winning streak to a seventh session on Monday amid a recovery in the price of crude oil.

The dollar’s rise to around ¥112 also improved investor sentiment, pushing up the Nikkei by more than 380 points in the first 15 minutes of the day’s trading.

In the afternoon, stocks’ topside grew heavy, with the Nikkei falling back below the 17,000 line, pressured by selling to lock in gains. But it regained upward momentum to top the threshold again toward the closing.

Chihiro Ota, general manager for investment research and investor services at SMBC Nikko Securities Inc., said that the day’s market was driven solely by changes in the dollar-yen rates.

In afternoon trading, the Nikkei average lost steam as the dollar retreated to levels below ¥112 but it took an upturn later in line with the greenback’s rebound, Ota said.

He also noted that the dollar may not be able to keep supporting the market because it is “questionable if it continues to rise against the yen,” citing some “sluggish” U.S. economic indicators released recently.

Another securities firm official said that investors are likely to be vigilant this week, as a series of U.S. economic indicators, such as new home sales, are set to be released.

Rising issues far outnumbered falling ones 1,732 to 163 in the TSE’s first section, while 51 issues were unchanged.

Volume fell to 2,014 million shares from Friday’s 2,295 million shares.

The yen’s drop helped lift export-oriented issues, such as automakers Toyota and Fuji Heavy, industrial robot manufacturer Fanuc, and tire producer Bridgestone.

Electronics parts makers Murata Manufacturing, Alps Electric, Nitto Denko and Kyocera, all Apple-related issues, drew purchases.

Nintendo surged 8.19 percent after the number of users of the game maker’s newly launched smartphone app topped 1 million.

Denso was also on the plus side thanks to a media report that the auto parts maker plans to enter the drone business.

By contrast, Sharp lost 6.52 percent on the spreading view that Taiwan’s Hon Hai Precision Industry will reduce its investment in the ailing Japanese electronics maker.

In index futures trading on the Osaka Exchange, the June contract on the Nikkei average finished up 400 points to 16,910.