Business / Financial Markets | TSE DATA & REPORT

Nikkei hits 2019 high on Wall Street rally, weaker yen

JIJI

Tokyo stocks continued to surge Wednesday aided by a sharp rebound on Wall Street and the yen’s further weakening, allowing the benchmark Nikkei average to rewrite a high for this year in its four-session winning streak.

The 225-issue Nikkei average soared 265.71 points, or 1.20 percent, to end at 22,472.92, the highest closing level since Dec. 3, 2018, after shooting up 408.34 points Tuesday.

The TOPIX index of all issues listed on the first section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange finished up 11.31 points, or 0.70 percent, at 1,631.51. It jumped 24.93 points the previous day.

The Tokyo market got off to a robust start amid cheerful sentiment brought about by the U.S. Dow Jones industrial average rebounding sharply on brisk corporate earnings figures Tuesday to retake the 27,000 threshold for the first time in a month, brokers said.

Backed as well by the yen’s drop against the dollar, the Nikkei gained more than 400 points in the first several minutes.

But the buying spree was short-lived, as the market soon saw profit-taking pressure build up.

Stocks gradually pared their gains for the rest of the day’s trading, with investors refraining from buying actively also in view of a halt in the yen’s decline following media reports that the Chinese government expressed strong indignation over the U.S. House of Representative’s passage of a bill backing pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong, brokers said.

“The Nikkei staged larger advance compared with the TOPIX thanks to active purchases of high-priced component issues such as Fast Retailing and Fanuc,” said Tomoaki Fujii, head of the investment research division at Akatsuki Securities Inc.

The two issues alone pushed up the Nikkei by 115 points, according to a market estimate.

A rise in trading volume suggested stepped-up buying by foreign investors, another market source said.

Rising issues overwhelmed falling ones 1,513 to 561 on the first section, while 80 issues were unchanged.

First-section volume grew to 1.43 billion shares from Tuesday’s 1.28 billion shares.

Financials such as megabank group Mitsubishi UFJ and insurer Tokio Marine attracted buying in the wake of a rise in U.S. long-term interest rates.

Export-oriented issues including automaker Toyota and construction machinery maker Komatsu rose thanks to the weak yen.

Sony went up along with other technology names, and so did such drug makers as Eizai and Shionogi.

On the other hand, mobile game app developer DeNA extended its losing streak to a fifth session.

In a stark contrast with the advance of Fast Retailing and Fanuc, another heavily weighted Nikkei component Softbank Group went south.

Also on the negative side were optical equipment maker Olympus and railway operator JR East.

In index futures trading on the Osaka Exchange, the key December contract on the Nikkei average rose 290 points to end at 22,490.

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