Tokyo shares close up 2.09 percent
Monday, 18 February 2013
TOKYO: Tokyo shares jumped 2.09 percent Monday as the yen weakened after Japan avoided criticism at G20 talks over the recent slide in its currency.
The benchmark Nikkei 225 index added 234.04 points to 11,407.87 by the close, while the Topix index of all first-section shares rose 2.15 percent, or 20.28 points, to 962.69.
Bargain hunters moved in after the headline index dropped 1.18 percent on Friday as fears grew that the G20 meeting in Moscow would see Japan accused of manipulating the yen to boost Japanese exports, risking setting off a global currency war.
But a communique from the meeting refrained from singling out Japan despite heavy criticism, particularly in Europe, over the new government's loose monetary policy, which some have charged is being used to weaken the yen.
The new government of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, as well as the central bank, have repeatedly denied the claims.
"We will refrain from competitive devaluation," the communique said, adding that we "will not target our exchange rates for competitive purposes".
The Tokyo market got a boost from the statement, which took some heat off Japan and its economic policies.
Chris Tedder, research analyst at Forex.com in Sydney, said not naming Tokyo "tells Japan that its path of aggressive policy loosening is acceptable as long as it isn't directly aimed at the yen".
Yoshihiro Okumura, general manager of research at Chibagin Asset Management, told Dow Jones Newswires: "Japan wasn't mentioned by others. The results were largely positive for Japan."
In forex trading, the yen weakened to 93.95 against the dollar from 93.53 in New York on Friday.
It also lost ground against the euro, which bought 125.32 yen from 124.97 yen in US trade.
In Tokyo stock trading, financial shares got a boost with Mitsubishi UFJ, Japan's biggest bank, rising 4.92 percent to 533 yen, Mizuho Financial Group up 4.08 percent at 204 yen and brokerage giant Nomura Holdings finishing 2.46 percent higher at 541 yen.
The weaker yen helped major exporters with Sony up 1.21 percent at 1,329 yen, Toyota rising 1.26 percent to 4,785 yen and Canon shares 1.37 percent higher at 3,310 yen. (AFP)