Tokyo stocks up ahead of expected snap election

 25 Sep 2017 - 10:21

Tokyo stocks up ahead of expected snap election


Tokyo: Tokyo stocks closed at a new two-year high Monday as exporters got a boost from the weaker yen, with Japan's Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe expected to call a snap election later in the day.

The bellwether Nikkei 225 index rose 0.50 percent, or 101.13 points, to close at 20,397.58, its best finish since August 2015, while the broader Topix index was up 0.49 percent, or 8.21 points, at 1,672.82. a

"The yen is in a favourable range for Japanese stocks," said Toshikazu Horiuchi, a broker at IwaiCosmo Securities.

The dollar traded at 112.23 yen, up from 112.06 yen in New York late Friday. A weaker yen is a plus for Japan's exporters.

"Market players are also paying attention to the election, hoping for campaign pledges to boost the economy," Horiuchi told AFP.

Abe is expected to announce later Monday that elections will be held on October 22, seeking to capitalise on rising public support as North Korea tensions spike.

He will also reportedly announce a fresh 2.0 trillion yen stimulus package.

Hours ahead of Abe's expected announcement, popular Tokyo governor Yuriko Koike unveiled plans to lead a new political party into national elections, hoping to repeat her success in local polls.

In Tokyo trading, exporters led gains with Toyota up 0.75 percent at 6,784 yen and Nissan closing 0.30 percent higher at 1,155.5 yen.

Nintendo turned up 0.17 percent to 41,200 yen on hopes for strong sales of its Switch games console.

Copier and camera maker Canon climbed 0.76 percent to 3,802 yen while Panasonic fell 1.25 percent to 1,611 yen.