Tokyo stocks close higher on US jobs data

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index rose 0.72 per cent, or 160.52 points, to 22,306.48. It lost 0.91 per cent over the week. — Reuters pic
The benchmark Nikkei 225 index rose 0.72 per cent, or 160.52 points, to 22,306.48. It lost 0.91 per cent over the week. — Reuters pic

TOKYO, July 3 ― Tokyo stocks closed higher yesterday, extending rallies on Wall Street following a solid rebound in US employment, but investors remained cautious after a fresh surge in coronavirus cases in the Japanese capital.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index rose 0.72 per cent, or 160.52 points, to 22,306.48. It lost 0.91 per cent over the week.

The broader Topix index was up 0.62 per cent, or 9.57 points, to 1,552.33, but declined 1.59 per cent from a week before.

“Japanese shares are being supported by rallies in US stocks” after better-than-expected jobs data in the world's biggest economy, said Toshiyuki Kanayama, senior market analyst at Monex.

The US economy regained 4.8 million jobs in June as businesses began to reopen nationwide, while the unemployment rate fell more than two points to 11.1 per cent, the Labour Department reported.

Job numbers were far higher than economists were expecting in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, and showed people returning to jobs in hard-hit sectors like leisure and hospitality, which accounted for just under half of the increase.

“But concerns over a second wave of coronavirus infections in Tokyo weighed on market sentiment,” said Yoshihiro Okumura, general manager at Chibagin Asset Management.

The capital confirmed 124 new coronavirus cases today, the largest daily increase in two months.

The dollar fetched ¥107.50 (RM4.29) in Asian afternoon trade, against ¥107.48 in New York.

Tokyo's high-tech shares gained ground after the Nasdaq posted another record yesterday.

Chip-testing equipment maker Advantest jumped 2.09 per cent to ¥6,330 with chip-making equipment manufacturer Tokyo Electron up 2.82 per cent at ¥28,720.

Power companies declined after the government unveiled plans to phase out old, high-emissions coal-fired power stations by 2030.

Tokyo Electric Power dropped 3.06 per cent to ¥316 with Kansai Electric Power down 0.61 percent at ¥1,055.5. ― AFP

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