Tokyo stocks close up 1.03pc
October 09, 2013 - 9:24:14 am
TOKYO: Tokyo stocks ended 1.03 percent higher Thursday as the dollar strengthened against the yen on news US President Barack Obama would nominate the dovish Janet Yellen to head the Federal Reserve.
The benchmark Nikkei 225 index rose 143.23 points to 14,037.84, after slumping 0.75 percent at the open, while the Topix index of all first-section shares rose 1.46 percent, or 16.77 points, to 1,166.90.
"Markets will be pleased that nothing will be done to stop the Fed from printing more casino chips, while Yellen is just another reason not to expect any tapering before the end of the calendar year," said CLSA equity strategist Nicholas Smith.
Traders have been keeping a close eye on a possible timeline for the US central bank to start tapering its $85 billion-a-month bond-buying drive, which has been credited with keeping global equity markets buoyant.
Yellen is seen as unlikely to pull back on the scheme in the short term.
"Among the major leads in the market today...a strong one is the Yellen decision," said Toshihiko Sakai, senior dealer at Mitsubishi UFJ Trust and Banking.
"As a reaction to that, in the belief that the Fed will have a dovish chair, stocks picked up while there was an unwinding of short dollar/yen positions."
The greenback rose to 97.43 yen in Tokyo late afternoon trading, from 96.86 yen on Tuesday in New York, where fears over the US government shutdown and a possible debt default hung over markets.
Washington lawmakers are locked in a stalemate over passing a budget and raising the country's debt ceiling. If the ceiling is not hiked by October 17, the government could default on its debt obligations.
In Tokyo stock trading, Panasonic rose 1.63 percent to 931 yen after a report in Japan's Nikkei business daily said the electronics giant would stop making plasma television screens by early next year.
The company has been casting off money-losing businesses as part of a huge corporate overhaul after record losses.
Mizuho Financial Group closed down 0.97 percent at 204 yen, a day after it admitted top managers were aware the bank was making loans to gangsters, in an embarrassing about-face for the company.
Sony rose 0.31 percent to 1,929 yen, Canon was up 0.97 percent at 3,105 yen and Uniqlo operator Fast Retailing added 0.57 percent to 34,750 yen.
Major automakers rose a day after reporting stronger sales in China, with Toyota shares up 2.97 percent at 6,230 yen, while rival Nissan gained 1.56 percent to 971 yen and Honda added 1.88 percent to 3,790 yen. (AFP)