Tokyo stocks close up 1.44pc

February 25, 2014 - 9:11:19 am

TOKYO:  Tokyo stocks closed 1.44 percent higher Tuesday following healthy gains on Wall Street ahead of the release of US economic indicators later in the week.

The Nikkei-225 index rose 213.92 points to 15,051.60, while the Topix index of all first section shares climbed 1.20 percent, or 14.59 points, to 1,233.66.

US stocks Monday finished higher as a February rally accelerated thanks to some high-flying technology equities.

The broad-market S&P 500 rose 0.62 percent, just short of a record high, while the Dow added 0.64 percent and the Nasdaq was up 0.69 percent.

"If the dollar doesn't move higher, it will be hard for Japan shares to go very much higher, regardless of how cheap they are," said Kenichi Hirano, market analyst at Tachibana Securities.

The currency market was quiet Monday, showing little impact from the turmoil in the Ukraine.

Focus is now on the release of US economic figures, including gross domestic product growth on Friday.

This week will also see the publication of February consumer confidence, durable goods orders and initial jobless claims.

The dollar was at 102.44 yen Tuesday compared with 102.48 yen in New York Monday afternoon.

The euro bought $1.3735 and 140.72 yen against $1.3734 and 140.76 yen.

In Tokyo trade, Softbank was up 4.12 percent at 8,095 yen following news reports that it is seeking to buy a stake in Line, a popular messaging service company.

Japan's largest mobile phone carrier NTT Docomo rose 0.47 percent to 1,700 yen, while its rival KDDI rose 2.91 percent to 6,146 yen.  (AFP)