Tokyo stocks close up 0.35pc

August 13, 2014 - 10:01:46 am

TOKYO: Tokyo stocks closed 0.35 percent higher Wednesday as the market shrugged off early losses sparked by data showing that Japan's economy contracted in the last quarter.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index, which had opened 0.33 percent lower, added 52.32 points to finish at 15,213.63.

The Topix index of all first-section issues also rose 0.35 percent, or 4.44 points, to 1,262.13.

Minutes before the opening bell, Tokyo announced that the world's number three economy shrank by 1.7 percent in the April-June quarter as a sales tax rise slammed the brakes on growth.

But the quarter-on-quarter contraction, which translated into a 6.8 percent drop on an annualised basis was slightly better than expected and the Nikkei quickly recovered from its initial fall.

"The doom-and-gloom scenario for the country's economy was over-hyped from the start," CLSA equity strategist Nicholas Smith told Dow Jones Newswires.

Tokyo investors were mainly focused on Japan's GDP data but volume was muted with traders away for summer holidays.

Sony shares rose 2.31 percent to 1,815.5 yen after it said it had sold a record 10 million PlayStation 4 consoles globally since their launch last year.

SoftBank jumped 2.42 percent to 6,974.0 yen on a news report that online retailer Alibaba, partially controled by SoftBank, would be listed next month.

In currency markets, the dollar fetched 102.28 yen in afternoon Tokyo trade, slightly up from 102.24 yen in New York.

Wall Street finished lower on Tuesday following disappointing German economic data and ahead of Wednesday's report on US retail sales.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average dipped 0.06 percent while the broader S&P 500 lost 0.16 percent. (AFP)