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Tokyo stocks up 0.60% by break

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Tokyo stocks rose 0.60 percent Thursday morning supported by further yen weakness, while dealers also followed the Dow on Wall Street after it added to the previous session's record high.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index, which hit a four-and-a-half-year high on Wednesday, gained 72.10 points to 12,004.37 by the break. The Topix index of all first-section shares added 0.44 percent, or 4.41 points, to 1,007.63.

"Japan shares are finding a confluence of supportive factors -- a buoyant overseas market, a generally weaker-trending yen, and signs that the US economy is recovering," said SMBC Nikko Securities general manager of equities Hiroichi Nishi.

Faith in Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's push for more government spending and monetary easing is also "unflagging as the Bank of Japan's new leadership appears to be in lock-step with the government on key policy issues", he said.

In New York the Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 42.47 points, or 0.30 percent, to 14,296.24, a new all-time high, on Wednesday.

The rise came despite a mixed report on US economic conditions from the Federal Reserve.

Although the Fed's Beige Book showed "modest to moderate" economic expansion, it noted concerns about the impact of new tax hikes on consumer spending.

The dollar eased back after strengthening Wednesday as an encouraging reading on business hiring stoked optimism for the US February jobs report due Friday.

The greenback was changing hands at 93.85 yen in Tokyo trade against 94.04 yen in New York Wednesday, but well up from 93.17 yen in Tokyo on Wednesday.

The pairing saw little movement after the Bank of Japan ended a two-day meeting -- the last under governor Masaaki Shirakawa -- without any new policy measures.

The euro bought $1.2988 and 121.90 yen compared with $1.2971 and 122.00 yen in US trade ahead of a policy meeting of the European Central Bank later in the day.

Big moves by the break included Olympus Corp., which jumped 5.15 percent to 2,202 yen after a Nikkei newspaper said that the company aims to cut interest-bearing debt by 100 billion yen by March next year.

Sharp fell 6.45 percent to 319 yen following a 14 percent surge on Wednesday on media reports of a tie-up with Samsung. After the stock market closed Sharp confirmed it had agreed a $111 million tie-up deal with the South Korean rival.

-- Dow Jones Newswires contributed to this article --

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130306/tokyo-stocks-060-break-0