Tokyo’s Nikkei surges 8pc after US stimulus deal

A man wearing a protective face mask walks past a screen showing the Nikkei index outside a brokerage in Tokyo March 13, 2020. — Reuters pic
A man wearing a protective face mask walks past a screen showing the Nikkei index outside a brokerage in Tokyo March 13, 2020. — Reuters pic

TOKYO, March 25 — Tokyo stocks surged over 8 per cent Wednesday, in their best percentage gain since 2008, on news of a US$2-trillion US coronavirus rescue package and relief that the Tokyo Olympics was postponed, not cancelled.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index, which soared more than seven per cent on Tuesday, added another 8.04 percent, or 1,454.28 points, to 19,546.63.

The broader Topix rose 6.87 percent, or 91.52 points, to end at 1,424.62.

“The Tokyo market took a positive lead from Wall Street and maintained the momentum for the rest of the day,” noted Toshikazu Horiuchi, a broker at IwaiCosmo Securities.

“Buy-back has accelerated as investors welcomed a series of policies announced by each country, notably the US,” he told AFP.

On Tuesday, the Dow Jones index surged 11.4 percent, its best gain since 1933, boosted by signs Congress was closing in on a rescue package for the virus-wracked US economy.

The Senate and White House have now reached a deal on a US$2 trillion stimulus package, a top Republican lawmaker said early Wednesday.

Horiuchi of IwaiCosmo said “players are taking the news of the Olympics’ postponement positively. It’s much better than a cancellation”.

But he added “the outlook for the market and the global economy remains uncertain as there is no sign of an end to the outbreak.”

“Volatile trading is expected to continue for the time being,” he said.

The dollar was trading at ¥111.15 against ¥111.32 in New York Tuesday afternoon.

Major ad companies rose sharply on the Olympics postponement, with Dentsu jumping 11.66 per cent to 2,460 and Hakuhodo up 10.55 per cent at ¥1,163.

SoftBank Group added 9.99 per cent to ¥4,170 after sharp rallies in the past days on a stock buy-back scheme.

Toyota climbed 10.65 per cent to ¥6,919 after the auto giant announced a capital tie-up with leading telecom carrier NTT, which rose 2.68 per cent to ¥2,503. — AFP

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