Tokyo shares end up 1.6pc on US rallies, yen's fall

The Nikkei 225 index, which lost nearly two per cent yesterday, bounced back 370.86 points, to close at 23,575.72. — Reuters pic
The Nikkei 225 index, which lost nearly two per cent yesterday, bounced back 370.86 points, to close at 23,575.72. — Reuters pic

TOKYO, Jan 7 ― Tokyo shares jumped 1.6 per cent today, propped up by gains on Wall Street and a breather in the yen's rise amid US-Iran tensions.

The Nikkei 225 index, which lost nearly two per cent yesterday, bounced back 370.86 points, to close at 23,575.72. The broader Topix index climbed 1.62 per cent, or 27.56 points, to 1,725.05.

“A rebound in US shares as well as the yen's decline helped revive market momentum,” Yoshihiro Okumura, general manager at Chibagin Asset Management, told AFP.

US equities ended higher yesterday, bucking a downward trend in Europe and Asia after the US killing of a top Iranian general last week.

Since he ordered a drone strike that killed Qasem Soleimani, US President Donald Trump has warned of “major retaliation” if Tehran takes revenge, triggering a sell-off in stocks and a spike in crude prices.

“Concerns about the Middle Eastern situation still remain but risk aversion will likely ease given the calm in dollar-yen trade,” Okasan Online Securities said in a commentary.

Markets remained cautious but investors were “clearly in wait-and-see mode” now, said Tapas Strickland, director of economics and markets at National Australia Bank.

The Japanese currency had soared on safe-haven buying but later eased somewhat.

The dollar was trading at ¥108.48 (RM4.10) in Asian afternoon trade against ¥108.40 in New York yesterday afternoon.

In Tokyo individual stocks trade, Sony surged 3.16 per cent to ¥7,655 and market heavyweight SoftBank Group gained 1.68 per cent to ¥4,646.

Toyota jumped 1.98 per cent to ¥7,715 after unveiling plans to build a fully sustainable prototype city in central Japan with a fully connected ecosystem.

Nissan gained 1.75 per cent to ¥636.5 after it slammed former chief Carlos Ghosn for jumping bail, vowing continued legal action against him.

Shipping companies bounced back from recent falls, with Nippon Yusen rising 0.36 per cent to ¥1,931 and Mitsui OSK Lines up 0.17 per cent at ¥2,903. ― AFP

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