Roundup: Japan's Nikkei ends at 33-year high as exporters, tech issues shine-Xinhua

Roundup: Japan's Nikkei ends at 33-year high as exporters, tech issues shine

Source: Xinhua| 2023-05-19 17:34:15|Editor: huaxia

TOKYO, May 19 (Xinhua) -- Japan's benchmark Nikkei stock index closed at a nearly 33-year high on Friday, with sentiment bolstered by solid earnings, a weak yen and eased concerns over the U.S. debt ceiling issue.

The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average gained 234.42 points, or 0.77 percent, from Thursday to close the day at 30,808.35, marking its highest closing finish since August 1990, during Japan's "bubble" era.

The broader Topix index, meanwhile, added 3.84 points, or 0.18 percent, to finish at 2,161.69, to book its highest close since Aug. 3, 1990.

Dealers here said that market sentiment was lifted by Wall Street's overnight rally driven by hopes that a deal can be reached on the U.S. debt ceiling and an unprecedented default avoided.

They added that the U.S. dollar subsequently gaining ground on the yen, also fueled by lower than expected U.S. jobless claims data, raised the prospect the U.S. Federal Reserve will continue with its aggressive monetary policy to combat inflation.

A weak yen is cheered by companies with a broad exposure to overseas markets, as profits made when repatriated are boosted and price competitiveness in overseas markets is enhanced when the yen is weaker than its major counterparts, investment analysts explained.

"The upward trend remained intact following U.S. share gains and the yen's depreciation, with Japanese stocks continuing to rise despite declines on Wall Street earlier this week," Seiichi Suzuki, chief equity market analyst at Tokai Tokyo Research Institute, was quoted as saying.

"Following the benchmark index climbing by more than 1,600 points over the past seven days, Japanese stocks may drop next week, but they are likely to continue rising over the long term, helped by the weakening yen," said Suzuki.

Other analysts also took a longer view of the Japanese market and its fundamentals, believing that there was still possibility it would continue to rise.

"Long-term fundamentals might have begun changing in Japan, and foreign investors do not want to miss this opportunity," Masayuki Kichikawa, chief macro strategist at Sumitomo Mitsui DS Asset Management, was quoted as saying.

"As long as any U.S. slowdown is mild, the current level of Japanese equities in not overvalued. There is still room for a further rise," Kichikawa said.

Among export-oriented issues finding favor on a comparatively weak yen versus the U.S. dollar, Canon gained 1.5 percent, while Panasonic ended 2.8 percent higher.

Nikkei heavyweight Fast Retailing, owner of the Uniqlo clothing chain, helped buoy the broader market, climbing 2.2 percent.

Office equipment company Ricoh was another notable gainer, leaping 7.7 percent, following reports a day earlier that it may merge its office equipment operations with those of Toshiba Corp. under a new company.

By the close of play, precision instrument, service and machinery-linked issues comprised those that gained the most.

The turnover on the Prime Market on the final trading day of the week came to 3,409.75 billion yen (24.69 billion U.S. dollars).