Tokyo stocks close 2.0% higher
Thursday, 18 October 2012
TOKYO: Tokyo stocks jumped 2.0 percent on Thursday, with the benchmark index boosted by a weaker yen and relief over China's latest economic growth data.
The Nikkei 225 index at the Tokyo Stock Exchange added 176.31 points to 8,982.86 by the close, while the broader Topix index of all first-section issues rose 1.69 percent, or 12.51 points, to 752.30.
The market started higher on the yen's weakness and got a further boost from the Chinese data, which showed the world's second-largest economy grew 7.4 percent in the third quarter.
That marked a slowdown for the seventh-straight quarter but matched market forecasts.
"GDP growth is slowing, but the pace of slowdown is moderating," said Kenichi Hirano, market analyst at Tachibana Securities. "It's positive that the data didn't rock the market," he added.
China's slowing economy may usher in further central bank easing measures, analysts said.
"With inflation under control and a hoard of cash at its disposal, China's central bank is well-armed to implement further monetary policy steps to boost its economy," an equity strategist at a foreign brokerage told Dow Jones Newswires.
In Tokyo trade on Thursday, major exporters gained, with industrial machinery maker Komatsu up 4.66 percent at 1,705 yen and Honda Motor rising 3.98 percent to 2,557 yen.
Softbank shares slipped 0.95 percent to 2,600 yen after it announced on Monday a $20 billion takeover of US-based mobile carrier Sprint Nextel.
On currency markets, the yen weakened against major currencies owing to speculation the Bank of Japan will announce further easing measures at its October 30 policy meeting.
The dollar rose to 79.13 yen in Tokyo afternoon trade from 78.97 yen in New York on Wednesday, while the euro bought 103.75 yen from 103.69 yen.
Against the dollar, the euro edged down to $1.3105 from $1.3120. (AFP)