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Tokyo stocks jump on Wall Street gain, weaker yen

JIJI

Stocks rose sharply on the Tokyo Stock Exchange on Wednesday, with investor sentiment bolstered by an overnight rise in U.S. equities and a weaker yen.

The 225-issue Nikkei average advanced 192.98 points, or 0.86 percent, to end at 22,746.70. Tuesday, the key market gauge edged up 8.88 points.

The Topix index of all first-section issues gained 16.47 points, or 0.94 percent, to close at 1,769.76, after losing 14.86 points the previous day.

The Tokyo market got off to a firmer start, as investors took heart from a Wall Street rebound and the yen’s weakening against the dollar, brokers said.

After moving narrowly later in the morning, stocks accelerated their upswing in the afternoon on futures-led buying, they said.

“The market was pushed up in the afternoon by active purchases of banks and other financial issues amid a rise in Japan’s long-term interest rates” in the wake of the Bank of Japan’s Policy Board meeting that ended Tuesday, said Masahiro Ichikawa, senior strategist at Sumitomo Mitsui Asset Management Co.

During the meeting, the central bank decided to buy Japanese government bonds in a flexible manner while keeping its annual purchase target of around 80 trillion yen. BOJ Governor Haruhiko Kuroda indicated at a press conference Tuesday that the bank would allow its policy interest rate to move between 0.0 percent and 0.2 percent, double the range before the latest policy meeting.

On Wednesday, the yield on the benchmark 10-year JGB issue rose to 0.120 percent, the highest level in some 1½ years.

The Tokyo market was also lifted by buying of issues backed by robust April-June earnings, Ichikawa noted.

Rising issues outnumbered falling ones 1,144 to 888 in the TSE’s first section, while 71 issues were unchanged.

Volume decreased to 1.767 billion shares, from 1.972 billion shares Tuesday.

Nintendo Co. soared 6.37 percent after the game-maker announced strong consolidated earnings for April-June on Tuesday.

Technology giant Sony Corp. went up 4.75 percent on its rosier earnings outlook.

Other major winners included steel-maker JFE Holdings Inc., automaker Honda Motor Co. and technology firm Kyocera Corp.

By contrast, online fashion mall operator Start Today Co. lost 3.23 percent after its announcement of disappointing April-June results.

Also on the minus side were electronic parts supplier Murata Manufacturing Co. and clothing store chain Fast Retailing Co.

In index futures trading on the Osaka Exchange, the key September contract on the Nikkei average rose 280 points to end at 22,780.