Tokyo stocks close up following US tech rally

Economy

Tokyo | AFP

Tokyo stocks closed higher on Friday, tracking global rallies including on Wall Street where tech shares surged while US yields retreated.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index rose 0.20 percent, or 59.08 points, to 29,768.06. Over the week, however, it declined 0.3 percent.

The broader Topix index gained 0.39 percent, or 7.61 points, to 1,959.47 but fell 0.6 percent from a week before.

“In the United States overnight, the movement of long-term yields calmed and major IT shares surged including GAFA,” Okasan Online Securities said, referring to four top technology firms: Google-parent Alphabet, Amazon, Facebook and Apple.

The tech-rich Nasdaq index jumped 1.0 percent, prompting Tokyo stocks to open higher -- but buying sentiment was limited as declines in other Asian shares weighed on the market, brokers said.

Investors were also watching the Japanese government’s plan for new coronavirus measures in Tokyo, Kyoto and Okinawa, with Covid-19 cases beginning to surge ahead of a holiday travel season from late April to early May.

The measures will focus largely on asking restaurants to close at 8:00 pm and urging citizens to refrain from making non-essential outings.

“The impact of the latest coronavirus measures has so far appeared limited as they were already factored in,” said Toshikazu Horiuchi, a broker at IwaiCosmo Securities.

They come just weeks after Japan lifted a state of emergency for the greater Tokyo region, and as the capital prepares to host the postponed 2020 Olympics this summer.

The dollar stood at 109.24 yen in Asian afternoon trade, compared with 109.26 yen on Thursday in New York.

In Tokyo, chip-testing equipment manufacturer Advantest jumped 1.79 percent to 10,800 yen and electronic parts maker Kyocera was up 1.43 percent at 7,210 yen.

Toshiba dropped 5.43 percent to 4,265 yen after its board chairman warned a British hedge fund’s buyout offer faces a long road, including seeking regulatory approval and additional financing.

Uniqlo operator Fast Retailing slumped 3.39 percent to 87,890 yen after it reported a rise in profits on Thursday but declined to comment on controversy over clothing retailers sourcing cotton from the Chinese region of Xinjiang.

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© Agence France-Presse

AFP