Tokyo stocks close up 0.58pc at more than five month high

July 04, 2014 - 10:30:41 am

TOKYO: Tokyo stocks rose 0.58 percent to a more than five-month high Friday after strong US jobs data sparked another record-breaking advance on Wall Street and a dollar rally against the yen.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index added 88.84 points to finish at 15,437.13, its best close since late January, while the Topix index of all first-section shares climbed 0.52 percent, or 6.65 points, to 1,285.24.

"The jobs data were good on the surface, but the currency and bond market reactions are not signalling much concern about US inflation, which has been the major disappointment for those hoping for a dollar rally," Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley senior investment strategist, Norihiro Fujito told Dow Jones Newswires.

On Thursday the Labor Department said the US economy added 288,000 jobs in June, while the unemployment rate fell to 6.1 percent from 6.3 percent in May, raising hopes that a recovery is well on track.

Wall Street enjoyed a third straight day of record highs, with the Dow jumping 0.54 percent to break 17,000 for the first time, while the broader S&P 500 gained 0.55 percent to 1,985.44.

The dollar also surged on the news, jumping to 102.20 yen in New York Thursday from 101.88 yen in Tokyo earlier in the day. On Friday in Tokyo the unit held up, sitting at 102.05 yen.

A weaker yen is positive for Japanese exporters as it makes them more competitive abroad and increases profits when repatriated.

In share trading, Sharp rose 0.90 percent to 336 yen after it said it was eyeing an overhaul of its sluggish European business, while the leading Nikkei business daily said the Japanese giant would pull the plug on its home appliance unit on the continent.

Nissan rose 0.91 percent to 991 yen. Japan's number-two automaker said Thursday that it had opened its second manufacturing plant in Thailand, a key market for the firm.

Rival Toyota rose 0.53 percent to 6,201 yen, Sony climbed 1.41 percent to 1,720 yen while Uniqlo clothing chain operator Fast Retailing gained 0.13 percent to 33,420 yen. (AFP)

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