Roundup: Japan's Nikkei hits fresh 33-year high amid U.S. debt ceiling jitters-Xinhua

Roundup: Japan's Nikkei hits fresh 33-year high amid U.S. debt ceiling jitters

Source: Xinhua| 2023-05-22 18:07:45|Editor: huaxia

TOKYO, May 22 (Xinhua) -- Japan's benchmark Nikkei stock index closed higher for an eighth-straight session on Monday to book a fresh 33-year high, as undervalued issues were scooped up by overseas investors despite concerns over the U.S. debt ceiling.

The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average added 278.47 points, or 0.90 percent, from Friday to close the day at 31,086.82, marking its highest closing level since July 26, 1990.

The broader Topix index, meanwhile, gained 14.21 points, or 0.66 percent, to finish at 2,175.90, booking its highest finish since Aug. 2, 1990.

Local brokers said that after a slow start, the pace of buying picked up in the afternoon session as foreign investors opted to snap-up Japanese issues deemed undervalued.

They added that retail investors could be seen following suit looking ahead.

"The Nikkei's gain accelerated in the afternoon session probably because overseas investors tried to buy more Japanese stocks," Chihiro Ohta, assistant general manager of the investment research and investor services at SMBC Nikko Securities, was quoted as saying.

Investment strategists said, however, that some investors may have chosen not to chase the market's upside further amid concerns over the U.S. debt ceiling and how negotiations to avert an unprecedented default by the United States will shape up.

"But the market might have peaked and may pause its gains in a short term partly because of jitters surrounding U.S. debt ceiling negotiations," Ohta said.

Other analysts noted that firms offering share buyback plans continued to find favor, with insurance companies gaining ground on the heels of a number of such announcements made last week.

Tourism-related issues also gained traction on hopes for a continued and sustained uptick in overseas travelers as Japan has scrapped its COVID-19 restrictions.

Among insurers advancing, MS&AD Insurance Group Holdings jumped 1.7 percent, after announcing a share buyback plan, while Tokio Marine Holdings climbed 5.7 percent for the same reason.

Tourism issues among Monday's rally included West Japan Railway advancing 2.4 percent, while Takashimaya ended the day 1.9 percent higher.

Bucking the upward trend, drug maker Daiichi Sankyo Co. Ltd. dropped 1.9 percent, and was the Nikkei's biggest loser.

By the close of play, insurance, land transportation and air transportation issues comprised those that gained the most.

The turnover on the first trading day of the week came to 3,004.57 billion yen (21.79 billion U.S. dollars).