Business / Financial Markets | TSE DATA & REPORT

Tokyo stocks rise further on yen's decline against dollar, lull in U.S.-China trade friction

JIJI

The benchmark Nikkei average rose further Thursday, backed by the yen’s drop against the dollar.

The 225-issue Nikkei average gained 137.61 points, or 0.61 percent, to end at 22,693.04 on the Tokyo Stock Exchange. On Wednesday, the key market gauge jumped 276.95 points.

By contrast, the Topix index of all first-section issues closed down 2.12 points, or 0.12 percent, at 1,750.63. It gained 8.83 points the previous day.

After fluctuating around the previous day’s closing levels, the key market gauges gradually firmed in the middle of the morning in line with the yen’s weakening.

In the afternoon, the Nikkei average maintained its strength, while the Topix lost ground, weighed down by the sluggish performances in banking issues, market sources said.

Chihiro Ota, general manager for investment research and investor services at SMBC Nikko Securities Inc., attributed the Nikkei’s strength to futures-led purchases inspired by the yen’s weakness.

“Investor sentiment wasn’t bad” thanks to the tech-heavy U.S. Nasdaq composite index’s record closing high on Wednesday, Ota added.

The market “enjoyed a temporary lull” in worries about a U.S.-China trade war, Mitsuo Shimizu, equity strategist at Japan Asia Securities Co. said, suggesting that such concerns have yet to be dispelled.

An official of an asset management firm noted that retailers and other domestic demand-oriented issues attracted purchases amid the U.S.-China trade jitters.

Falling issues outnumbered rising ones 1,303 to 713 in the TSE’s first section, while 75 issues were unchanged.

Volume decreased to 1.402 billion shares from 1.590 billion shares on Wednesday.

Nachi-Fujikoshi was buoyant after the U.S. Department of Commerce announced Wednesday that it has granted steel tariff exemptions to products from several companies, including a U.S. unit of the machine tool maker, brokers said.

Takeda Pharmaceutical jumped 4.46 percent after UBS Securities Japan Co. raised its investment rating and stock target price for the company on Wednesday.

Other major winners included mobile phone carrier SoftBank Group and clothing retailer Fast Retailing.

By contrast, major banking groups Mitsubishi UFJ, Mizuho and Sumitomo Mitsui were downbeat.

Also on the minus side were semiconductor-related Tokyo Electron and electronics parts producer Nitto Denko.

In index futures trading on the Osaka Exchange, the key September contract on the Nikkei average rose 120 points to 22,600.