Tokyo stocks close up 0.88pc

July 14, 2014 - 11:04:38 am

TOKYO: Tokyo stocks closed 0.88 percent higher on Monday, snapping a five-day losing streak, as the weaker yen helped lift the market following modest gains on Wall Street.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index climbed 132.78 points to finish at 15,296.82 while the Topix index of all first-section issues rose 0.82 percent, or 10.27 points, to 1,265.46.

Mitsushige Akino, chief fund manager at Ichiyoshi Investment Management, said activity was muted ahead of the start of Japan's latest corporate earnings period in the coming weeks.

"The traditional 'quiet period' before earnings results are announced is having a particularly tranquilising effect on the current market, since there has been so much pension-fund interest holding the floor up," he added.

"As such, the fact that the Nikkei is coming off a five-day losing streak -- its longest since the current 'Abenomics rally' began in November 2012 -- is really less relevant than meets the eye; the selling has not been that broad or deep, or technically significant."

The Nikkei posted its best annual run in over four decades last year on the back of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's electoral victory in late 2012.

Abe's economic growth blitz, dubbed Abenomics, helped weaken the yen and boost corporate earnings, stoking a stock market rally.

The Nikkei's gains Monday came as the industry ministry revised upward Japan's industrial production in May to a 0.7 percent increase from its preliminary estimate of a 0.5 percent rise.

On Monday, the Bank of Japan started a two-day policy meeting but policymakers are widely expected to hold off fresh easing measures.

In share trading, SoftBank rose 2.25 percent to 7,649 yen after a weekend report in the leading Nikkei business daily said the mobile carrier and Deutsche Telekom have reached a basic agreement for a merger between their US affiliates Sprint and T-Mobile US.

In Asian currency markets, the dollar fetched 101.40 yen, up from 101.23 yen in New York Friday afternoon. A  weaker yen inflates the profitability of Japanese exporters and tends to help boost their shares.

US stocks ended slightly higher on Friday following a handful of mixed earnings reports and before a string of fresh economic data this week.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.17 percent  while the S&P 500 gained 0.15 percent. (AFP)

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