Business / Financial Markets | TSE DATA & REPORT

Nikkei climbs to 22,601 after lift from weaker yen

JIJI

Stocks rang up solid gains Friday as investors took heart chiefly from the yen’s drop against the dollar.

The 225-issue Nikkei average rose 190.95 points, or 0.85 percent, to end at 22,601.77 on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, extending its winning streak to a fourth session. On Thursday, the key market gauge advanced 48.27 points.

The Topix index of all first-section issues added 10.98 points, or 0.65 percent, to end at 1,709.20 after edging down 0.15 point the previous day.

Buying outpaced selling from the outset on the back of the dollar’s rise above ¥111, brokers said.

The market met with some selling later in the morning but resumed its advance in the afternoon with help from a rebound in Shanghai stocks and higher U.S. stock futures in off-hours trading, they said.

“Active trading was held in check due to a dearth of fresh incentives,” said Mitsuo Shimizu, chief strategist at Aizawa Securities Co.

But in view of improved market fundamentals and increased affordability, players stepped up buybacks, Shimizu said.

Hiroaki Kuramochi, chief market analyst at Saxo Bank Securities Ltd., suggested the possibility of foreign investors moving to cover short positions while no new negative developments in trade between the United States and other economies were in sight.

Although the U.S.-China trade talks ended without major progress, Tokyo stocks were little affected, brokers said.

Some investors sat on the fence ahead of U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell’s speech later Friday, they added.

Rising issues outnumbered falling ones 1,497 to 515 in the TSE’s first section, while 92 issues were unchanged.

Volume dropped to 983 million shares, from 1.081 billion shares on Thursday.

Eisai gained 2.73 percent on a newspaper report Friday that the drugmaker is likely to achieve the group operating profit target set in a five-year business plan through March 2021 a year ahead of time.

Eighteenth Bank jumped 7.69 percent on media reports that the Fair Trade Commission will approve its merger with Fukuoka Financial Group Inc.

Other major winners included technology giant Sony and staffing service company Recruit Holdings

On the other hand, construction machinery maker Komatsu sagged 1.77 percent after U.S. peer Caterpillar fared poorly overnight.

Also lower were industrial robot producer Fanuc and automaker Suzuki.

In index futures trading on the Osaka Exchange, the key September contract on the Nikkei average rose 180 points to end at 22,590.