Business / Financial Markets | TSE DATA & REPORT

Tokyo stocks rebound on extended U.S. rally and weaker yen

JIJI

Stocks bounced back on the Tokyo Stock Exchange on Friday, aided by the continued advance in U.S. equities and a pause in the yen’s appreciation against the dollar.

The 225-issue Nikkei average rose 195.90 points, or 0.97 percent, to end at 20,359.70. On Thursday, the key market gauge lost 263.26 points.

The Topix index of all first-section issues ended up 7.72 points, or 0.51 percent, at 1,529.73. It slumped 13.10 points the previous day.

The Tokyo market opened higher, after the Dow Jones industrial average extended its winning streak to a fifth session on the New York Stock Exchange on Thursday.

Investors were also encouraged by the dollar turning higher against the yen, brokers said.

The market maintained strength for the rest of Friday’s trading, thanks in part to active buying of Fast Retailing, a heavily weighted component of the Nikkei average, which helped push the price indicator up by over 100 points, they noted.

“Investor sentiment improved after the Dow’s five-session rally to retake 24,000,” said Yoshihiko Tabei, chief analyst at Naito Securities Co.

Hiroaki Hiwada, strategist at Toyo Securities Co., also observed signs of improvement in market sentiment. For instance, Yaskawa Electric fared well although the company said the previous day it had revised down earnings estimates for the current business year ending next month, he pointed out.

But he added that some players retreated to the sidelines ahead of the three-day weekend in Japan. The market will be closed on Monday for a national holiday.

Rising issues slightly outnumbered falling ones 1,033 to 1,003 in the TSE’s first section, while 92 issues were unchanged.

Volume edged down to 1.295 billion shares from Thursday’s 1.308 billion shares.

Major realtors attracted purchases on an industry report released Thursday that the business district office vacancy rate in Tokyo dropped in December. Noticeable gainers included Mitsui Fudosan and Mitsubishi Estate.

Hitachi jumped 8.64 percent after media reports on Friday that the electric machinery giant is in final talks to suspend a British nuclear plant project.

Among other major winners were game maker Nintendo and Toyota.

On the other hand, Shochiku dived 6.82 percent due to the entertainment company’s downward earnings estimate revision on Friday.

Yoshinoya Holdings plunged 5.79 percent on its sluggish March-November business results.

Also sold were mobile phone carrier KDDI and cosmetics maker Shiseido.

In index futures trading on the Osaka Exchange, the key March contract on the Nikkei average added 210 points to end at 20,320.