Business / Financial Markets | TSE DATA & REPORT

Nikkei briefly tops 23,000 as winning streak continues

JIJI

Stocks advanced Tuesday, lifted by an overnight rise in U.S. equities and a weaker yen. The benchmark Nikkei 225 average surged briefly above 23,000 for the first time in over a year.

The Nikkei rose 106.86 points, or 0.47 percent, to end at 22,974.13 after temporarily surpassing the 23,000 threshold for the first time since Oct. 11 on an intraday basis. The key market gauge extended its winning streak to a seventh day after gaining 67.46 points Monday.

The Topix, which covers all issues listed on the first section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange, closed 14.25 points, or 0.86 percent, higher at 1,662.68 after inching down 0.01 point Monday.

The market opened higher after fresh optimism over U.S.-China trade negotiations drove the S&P 500 to an all-time high and pushed down the yen against the dollar in overnight New York trading, brokers said.

U.S. President Donald Trump said Monday that Washington and Beijing will likely sign a “very big portion” of the so-called phase one of a U.S.-China trade deal “ahead of schedule.”

After the Nikkei retook 23,000 in the morning, selling to lock in profits stemming from a heightened sense of achievement and overheating weighed on the market, brokers said.

“Japanese stocks are continuing to attract buying thanks to improved investor sentiment, as they are believed to be lagging behind their overseas counterparts,” said an official of a Japanese bank.

Still, “the market turned top-heavy ahead of the U.S. Federal Reserve’s policy-setting meeting” for two days through Wednesday, said Masayuki Otani, chief market analyst at Securities Japan Inc.

Rising issues far outnumbered falling ones 1,520 to 555 in the first section, while 80 issues were unchanged.

Volume increased to 1.324 billion shares from Monday’s 1.014 billion.

Export-oriented issues such as automaker Toyota and construction machinery maker Komatsu attracted purchases thanks to the weaker yen.

Financials advanced in response to a rise in U.S. long-term interest rates. Major gainers included mega-bank group Mitsubishi UFJ and insurer Tokio Marine.

Among other major winners were technology investor SoftBank Group and pharmaceutical firm Astellas.

By contrast, camera maker Canon met with selling after announcing a weaker than expected consolidated operating profit for January-September and a profit warning for the year to December.

Industrial robot producer Fanuc fell, also due to its release of weaker than expected earnings.

Joining them on the negative side were clothing store chain Fast Retailing and railway operator JR East.

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