Business / Financial Markets | TSE DATA & REPORT

Nikkei closes above 22,000 for first time in four months

JIJI

Stocks soared on the Tokyo Stock Exchange on Monday, with the benchmark Nikkei average topping 22,000 for the first time in four months.

The 225-issue Nikkei average jumped 298.55 points, or 1.37 percent, to finish at 22,169.11, ending above the psychologically important threshold for the first time since Dec. 4 last year. Friday, the key market gauge gained 159.18 points.

The Topix index of all first-section issues surged 22.53 points, or 1.40 percent, to 1,627.93, after falling 1.12 points the previous trading day.

The market opened sharply higher with the Nikkei average far surpassing 22,000, as investors rushed to buy in view of the Dow Jones industrial average’s powerful rally on the New York Stock Exchange on Friday.

Both Nikkei and Topix indexes remained considerably higher throughout Monday’s session, also supported by constant buying amid the yen’s easing against the dollar and rosy prospects for China’s economy that grew after the announcement Friday of a significant rise in new bank loans in the country in March, brokers said.

“Risk-on sentiment spread in the Tokyo market” with participants taking heart from the Dow advancing close to its record-high level, said Hiroaki Kuramochi, chief market analyst at Saxo Bank Securities Ltd.

With concerns over a Chinese slowdown retreating, “foreign investors moved to buy back, in particular, cyclicals such as nonferrous metals and machines,” an official of a bank-affiliated securities firm said.

But after the pile of initial buy orders were executed, the market turned top-heavy.

Some investors took to the sidelines ahead of the start of two-day Japan-U.S. trade negotiations in Washington later on Monday, bracing for possible dollar-negative remarks by U.S. officials, Kuramochi pointed out.

On Saturday, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said any agreement with Japan would include a provision against currency manipulation.

Rising issues far outnumbered falling ones 1,910 to 190 in the TSE’s first section, while 41 issues were unchanged.

Volume increased to 1.225 billion shares from Friday’s 1.101 billion shares.

Gainers in the cyclical sector included industrial robot producers Yaskawa Electric Corp., up 4.47 percent, and Fanuc Corp., up 2.57 percent.

Financials attracted purchases after their U.S. peers fared well Friday. Insurer Dai-ichi Life Holdings Inc. added 2.63 percent, brokerage giant Nomura 1.79 percent and megabank group Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc. 1.48 percent.

Among other winners were technology investor Softbank Group Corp. and drugmaker Eisai.

Meanwhile, automaker Suzuki Motor Corp. plunged 2.32 percent amid growing concerns over a massive recall stemming from inspection irregularities.

Daiwa House Industry Co. tumbled 3.80 percent following the company’s disclosure of defects in houses and rental apartment buildings it put up.

Also shunned were cybermall operator Rakuten Inc. and mobile phone carrier KDDI Corp.

In index futures trading on the Osaka Exchange, the key June contract on the Nikkei average rose 320 points to end at 22,180.