March 12, 2019: Tokyo's benchmark Nikkei index leapt nearly 1.8 percent on Tuesday as concerns over the US economy receded and investors welcomed news that Britain and European Union had agreed a revised Brexit deal.
The Nikkei 225 index rose 1.79 percent, or 378.60 points, to close at 21,503.69 while the broader Topix index was up 1.52 percent, or 24.04 points, at 1,605.48.
On the other hand, Hong Kong and mainland Chinese stocks rose again Tuesday, extending a recovery from last week's sharp losses with energy firms enjoying support from a pick-up in oil prices.
The Hang Seng Index in Hong Kong jumped 1.46 percent, or 417.57 points, to close at 28,920.87.
The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index climbed 1.10 percent, or 33.32 points, to 3,060.31 and the Shenzhen Composite Index, which tracks stocks on China's second exchange, added 1.68 percent, or 27.99 points, to 1,695.81.
According to Toshikazu Horiuchi, a broker at IwaiCosmo Securities, “Japanese shares gained ground, taking heart from rallies in the US, as excessive concerns over the outlook for the US economy receded.”
The UK-EU deal announced a few hours before the opening bell “is also supporting the market,” Kyoko Amemiya, senior market analyst at SBI Securities said.
British Prime Minister Theresa May said Monday she had secured a three-part package of changes from the EU to the terms of its withdrawal deal, hoping to win over skeptical MPs.
As May sealed the deal in Strasbourg with EU leaders, her de facto deputy, David Lidington, updated parliament in London on the plans.
He said this should be enough to persuade MPs to vote for the agreement on Tuesday, just 17 days before Britain is scheduled to leave the EU.
Three new documents have been agreed to run alongside the withdrawal agreement, which governs Britain's exit terms, and the political declaration on future trade terms.
Looking ahead, investors are watching economic indicators including Japan's machinery orders “which often fluctuates” but “there is no huge negative factor expected,” Amemiya added.
The dollar fetched 111.33 yen in Asian afternoon trade against 111.23 yen in New York.
In Tokyo, automakers were among the winners, with Toyota 0.60 percent higher at 6,618 yen and Honda up 1.12 percent at 3,047 yen.
Nissan advanced 0.98 percent to 930.7 yen and Mitsubishi Motors rallied 1.00 percent to 603 yen after a Japanese court barred former chairman Carlos Ghosn from attending a Nissan board meeting later on Tuesday.
Fast Retailing, the market heavyweight and Uniqlo casual wear operator, jumped 2.86 percent to 53,940 yen.