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Nikkei gains 74 points as hopes rise for successful Kim Jong Un-Trump summit

JIJI

Stocks gained further ground Tuesday on expectations for a successful U.S.-North Korea summit.

The 225-issue Nikkei average gained 74.31 points, or 0.33 percent, to end at 22,878.35 on the Tokyo Stock Exchange. On Monday, the key market gauge climbed 109.54 points.

The Topix index of all first-section issues was up 5.98 points, or 0.33 percent, at 1,792.82, after rising 5.40 points the previous day.

The Nikkei rose above 23,000 briefly for the first time in three weeks on an intraday basis right after the opening bell.

The initial gains came as the yen fell on expectations that the meeting on Tuesday between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un would end in success, market sources said.

Trump and Kim signed an agreement after their meeting in Singapore.

Stocks maintained their strength in general thanks to the yen’s fall, though they came under pressure from futures-led selling apparently from speculative players, the sources said.

Mitsuo Shimizu, equity strategist at Japan Asia Securities Co., noted that a sense of ease spread among investors after Trump and Kim shook hands at the start of their meeting.

Stocks were driven by futures-led purchases prompted by the yen’s drop, Yutaka Miura, senior technical analyst at Mizuho Securities Co., pointed out.

Miura indicated, however, that stocks’ topside was heavy as some investors retreated to the sidelines prior to the U.S. Federal Reserve’s two-day policy meeting set to start later Tuesday.

“The Nikkei failed to close above 23,000 due to a sense of caution” ahead of the Fed meeting as well as the European Central Bank’s policy meeting on Thursday, Shimizu said.

Rising issues outnumbered falling ones 1,126 to 858 in the TSE’s first section, while 105 issues were unchanged.

Volume rose to 1.238 billion shares from 1.132 billion shares on Monday.

East Japan Railway (JR East) rose 2.98 percent after Morgan Stanley MUFG Securities Co. raised on Monday its stock target price for the company.

MonotaRO climbed 6.26 percent after the shopping site for industrial tools on Monday reported a surprisingly strong rise of over 30 percent in May sales from a year before.

Other major winners included clothing retailer Fast Retailing and staffing service company Recruit.

By contrast, semiconductor-related Tokyo Electron, Disco, Sumco and Shin-Etsu Chemical were downbeat after their U.S. peers fared poorly in New York trading on Monday.

Also on the minus side were game maker Square Enix and electronic parts producer Rohm.

In index futures trading on the Osaka Exchange, the key September contract on the Nikkei average gained 40 points to end at 22,830.