Tokyo stocks close at 26-year high as yen eases

Tokyo's main stock index closed up at a more than 26-year high on Tuesday as the yen rowed back from its latest rally against the dollar.

The Nikkei 225 index rose 1.00 percent or 236.93 points to 23,951.81 — its highest level since November 1991 — while the broader Topix index was up 0.55 percent or 10.35 points at 1,894.25.

“Sentiment was buoyed as the yen's rise against the dollar took a breather,” Yoshihiro Ito, chief strategist at Okasan Online Securities.

The dollar has taken a hit against its main peers in recent weeks, hitting a four-month low against the yen, but it firmed to 110.83 yen Tuesday from 110.56 yen in London on Monday.

The greenback's uptick came on dollar buying by Japanese import companies and after remarks by Finance Minister Taro Aso that sudden moves in currency rates were a problem, though he made no mention of specific rates.

A lower yen is positive for Japanese exporters as it makes their goods cheaper overseas and inflates their profits when repatriated.

Carmakers were largely higher with Toyota closing 1.04 percent higher at 7,733 yen and Nissan up 0.39 percent at 1,154.5 yen.

SoftBank added 1.96 percent to 9,404 yen after rising more than three percent Monday on reports it was considering listing its mobile unit.

Precision machinery maker Murata jumped 4.03 percent to 15,990 yen as the Nikkei business daily reported its annual operating profit would surge more than 15 percent.

Posted on: 2018-01-16T12:45:00+05:00