Tokyo stocks close up 1.09pc

April 23, 2014 - 9:16:40 am

TOKYO: Tokyo stocks ended 1.09 percent higher Wednesday, buoyed by another day of gains on Wall Street and as railway and hotels giant Seibu Holdings rose nearly 11 percent on its return to the Japanese market.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index closed 157.50 points higher to finish at 14,546.27, while the Topix index of all first-section issues rose 0.97 percent, or 11.31 points, to 1,173.81.

Seibu closed at 1,770 yen ($17.25), up 11 percent from its 1,600 yen initial public offering price, which valued the group at about 605 billion yen.

The firm's return to market came about a decade after it was delisted following a major accounting scandal and is a welcome solid result after some recent IPO bombs in Japan.

Last month, shares in Japan Display -- the world's biggest maker of screens for smartphones and tablets and a key Apple supplier plunged 15 percent on their Tokyo debut, following a $3.2 billion IPO.

The Nikkei has been choppy since the start of 2014, with the benchmark index down about 11 percent, after it last year posted its best annual return in decades.

"The most logical reason why Seibu is up is that it was priced so low that the chance of failure was greatly minimised," Tatsunori Kawai, chief strategist at Securities, told Dow Jones Newswires.

With US President Barack Obama due to in Tokyo late Wednesday, traders will be watching for any mention of a territorial dispute between Japan and China, which has hurt ties between the Asian trading partners.

They will also be hoping for signs of progress in talks on the vast Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade pact, with Washington and Tokyo at loggerheads over tariffs on Japanese agricultural products.

Kawai said trading volume was light with the Nikkei stuck in a narrow range and few trading cues.

Sony ended up 1.05 percent at 1,919 yen and Honda added 1.40 percent to 3,476 yen.

In Tokyo forex trading the dollar changed hands at 102.61 yen, against 102.60 yen in New York Tuesday.

New York supplied a positive lead thanks to solid earnings and major pharmaceutical sector deals.

The S&P 500 added 0.41 percent and the Nasdaq jumped 0.97 percent, with each index clocking up a sixth successive advance after suffering heavy selling earlier this month.

The Dow climbed 0.40 percent, a third straight gain. (AFP)