Tokyo stocks close at fresh two-decade highs

 12 Oct 2017 - 9:56

Tokyo stocks close at fresh two-decade highs


Tokyo: Tokyo stocks ended at fresh two-decade highs Thursday after new records on Wall Street and as surveys point to a victory for the ruling party in Japan's elections, while scandal-hit Kobe Steel recovered moderately after two days of heavy selling.

The Nikkei 225, which hit a 21-year high on Wednesday, rose 0.35 percent, or 73.45 points, to end at 20,954.72, its eighth straight gain.

The broader Topix index was up 0.20 percent or 3.32 points, at 1,700.13.

The surveys showing a clear victory for Japan's Liberal Democratic Party led by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in elections this month contributed to a weaker yen and pushed up stocks, Mizuho Securities said in a note to clients.

The dollar changed hands at 112.32 yen, slightly off the 112.50 yen in New York but still up from 112.28 yen in Tokyo Wednesday afternoon.

"Market sentiment remains very, very strong," said Toshikazu Horiuchi, a broker at IwaiCosmo Securities.

"The Nikkei index has continued to increase but we have not felt any sense of overheating," Horiuchi added.

Investors also digested minutes of the Federal Reserve that showed US central bankers were sharply divided over whether to increase rates again this year but with many still favouring a hike, analysts added.

All three major Wall Street indices ended at fresh records.

In Tokyo, Kobe Steel rose 0.45 percent to 882 yen following a 22-percent dive on Tuesday and a further 17.8-percent tumble on Wednesday, after the steelmaker admitted falsifying quality data.

New revelations hit Kobe Steel late Wednesday, as the firm, which has lost about $1.5 billion in market capitalisation this week, admitted it had also falsified data on iron powder and products used to make DVDs.

Some exporters were up on the cheaper yen, which inflates their repatriated profits. Nissan gained 0.36 percent to 1,089.5 yen and chip-making equipment maker Tokyo Electron jumped 1.95 percent to 17,700 yen.

But Uniqlo operator Fast Retailing fell 0.68 percent to 34,850 yen ahead of its latest earnings report.