Tokyo stocks close up 1.21%
Wednesday, 17 October 2012
TOKYO: Tokyo stocks closed 1.21 percent higher Wednesday after strong gains on European and US markets and a decision by Moody's not to downgrade Spain's credit rating.
The benchmark Nikkei 225 index at the Tokyo Stock Exchange closed up 105.24 points at 8,806.55, while the broader Topix index of all first-section shares rose 1.01 percent, or 7.39 points, to 739.79.
"The formerly risk-averse mood is gradually coming off," Hiroichi Nishi, general manager of equities at SMBC Nikko Securities, told Dow Jones Newswires.
Moody's gave Madrid critical breathing room Tuesday in its efforts to sort out its economic problems, holding the country's debt rating unchanged at Baa3, one notch above "junk" grade.
But the ratings agency put a negative outlook on Spain, meaning a future downgrade could still be in the offing, as speculation grows that it will formally request a bailout.
Shares in Softbank extended Tuesday's gains after it confirmed Monday its $20 billion takeover of Sprint Nextel, the third-biggest US mobile carrier.
"In the current lightly-traded market, Softbank continues to be a big contributor," said Tatsunori Kawai, chief strategist at kabu.com.
Softbank surged 5.63 percent to close at 2,625 yen, largely on short-covering, following Tuesday's 9.5 percent gain.
The shares had dived more than 20 percent from Friday to Monday after initial reports of the deal emerged last week, with traders worried over how it would be funded and the broader strategy behind the monster takeover.
Toyota gained 0.99 percent to close at 3,060 yen and Sony rose 2.02 percent to 956 yen.
On currency markets, the dollar bought 78.66 yen in Tokyo afternoon trade, against 78.89 yen in US trading on Tuesday.
The euro bought $1.3090 and 102.99 yen, from $1.3096 and 103.31 yen. (AFP)