Tokyo stocks close up 0.84pc

July 22, 2014 - 10:28:33 am

TOKYO: Tokyo stocks rose 0.84 percent on Tuesday, boosted by a weaker yen as traders returned from a three-day holiday weekend.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index climbed 127.57 points to finish at 15,343.28, while the Topix index of all first-section issues was up 0.79 percent, or 9.98 points, at 1,273.27.

The market was closed on Monday for a public holiday.

The gains were in line with a pick-up across Asia after pro-Russian rebels handed over the black boxes of the downed Malaysia Airlines jet, easing geopolitical tensions.

They also announced a ceasefire with a 10 kilometre (six mile) radius around the crash site to allow international officials to safely investigate.

The news boosted investor confidence, putting downward pressure on the yen, which is considered a safe bet in times of turmoil. A weaker yen boosts the profitability of Japanese exporters and tends to lift their shares.

In currency markets, the dollar bought 101.53 yen, up from 101.38 yen in New York Monday afternoon, while the euro fetched 137.29 yen compared with 137.10 yen.

However, Mitsushige Akino, chief fund manager at Ichiyoshi Investment Management told Dow Jones Newswires: "Fundamentally nothing about geopolitical risk has changed. We are keeping an eye on it."

Traders are also warily watching the Middle East as Israel undertakes a ground invasion of Gaza following air strikes and shelling that have left more than 570 Palestinians dead.

In stocks trading, Panasonic climbed 1.84 percent to end at 1,215.0 yen after a weekend report in the Nikkei business daily said the electronics giant had reached an agreement to sell its deteriorating mobile phone base station business to Finland's Nokia.

Exporters were broadly higher with automaker Honda rising 0.46 percent to 3,585 yen and Canon up 0.32 percent at 3,401 yen.

On Wall Street the Dow fell 0.28 percent, the S&P 500 eased 0.23 percent and the Nasdaq lost 0.17 percent. (AFP)