Tokyo stocks close up 0.23pc at near two-month high

May 27, 2014 - 11:19:56 am

TOKYO: Tokyo stocks rose 0.23 percent on Tuesday to their highest close in nearly two months, as the weaker yen boosted exporters in thin trading.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index added 34.00 points to finish at 14,636.52, the highest finish since April 7, while the Topix index of all first-section shares was flat, gaining 0.04 percent, or 0.42 points, to 1,195.11.

The Nikkei's four-day winning streak tracked a rally on Wall Street, where the broad-based S&P 500 last week breached the 1,900 for the first time. Markets in New York and London were closed Monday for public holidays.

"Technically, yesterday's move (in the Nikkei) was significant, and could signal further bullishness ahead," said Yoshihiro Okumura, general manager at Chibagin Asset Management.

"But volume levels really need to pick up in order to make such moves significant. Foreign traders remain largely apathetic."

An equity trading director at a European brokerage said the thin trading "detracts from the significance of the recent up-trend", although the benchmark index is down 10 percent since January.

"Still, with the Nikkei breaking through its 200-day moving average, we can't afford to take it too lightly," he told Dow Jones Newswires.

"The next benchmark to watch will be 15,000."

Sony shares were up 0.11 percent to 1,685 yen and Panasonic gained 0.37 percent to 1,084 yen, while Toyota turned down 0.25 percent to 5,585 yen.

Uniqlo clothing chain operator Fast Retailing added 0.80 percent to 33,825 yen.

In currency markets, the dollar changed hands at 101.96 yen Tuesday afternoon against 101.93 yen in Tokyo Monday afternoon.

A weaker yen is a plus for Japanese exporters as it makes them more competitive overseas and inflates repatriated profits. (AFP)