Tokyo's Nikkei stock index logs fresh six-year high

December 27, 2013 - 9:13:52 am

TOKYO: Tokyo's Nikkei 225 edged up 0.03 percent Friday to a fresh six-year high as late buying pushed the benchmark index back into positive territory, while a weaker yen also boosted the market following record highs on Wall Street.

The Nikkei added 4.50 points to 16,178.94, its best close since late 2007, while the broader Topix index of all first-section shares finished 0.84 percent, or 10.73 points, higher to 1,290.07.

The headline Nikkei lost ground due to profit taking as investors largely discounted a mixed bag of Japanese economic data.

But late buying pushed the index back into positive territory in afternoon trade, with the market winning support from a strong dollar, which briefly shot above the 105 yen mark, its highest since October 2008.

The level compared with 104.82 yen in New York Thursday.

A weaker yen tends to boost shares of Japanese exporters because it makes their products relatively cheaper and boosts competitiveness overseas.

"A strong dollar will offer a tailwind to exporters, raising expectations for improved earnings," Hiroichi Nishi, general manager of equities at SMBC Nikko Securities, told Dow Jones Newswires.

In share trading, Toyota rose 0.78 percent to 6,390 yen and Canon was up 0.15 percent to 3,300 yen while Sony slipped 0.66 percent to 1,785 yen.

Uniqlo clothing chain operator Fast Retailing fell 1.70 percent to 43,300 yen.

Takeda Pharmaceutical dropped 5.19 percent to 4,835 yen after the company said it had decided to stop developing a new type 2 diabetes treatment over liver safety concerns.

On Thursday, US shares rallied on the back of upbeat weekly jobless claims data.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.75 percent to 16,479.88, finishing at a record high for the sixth straight session.

The S&P 500, closing at a record high for the fourth straight session, added 0.47 percent to 1,842.02. (AFP)

 

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