Nikkei Average Briefly Hits 33-Yr High above 33,800

Economy

Tokyo, Nov. 20 (Jiji Press)--Japan's benchmark Nikkei stock average briefly rose above 33,800 on Monday, hitting its highest intraday level in more than 33 years.

The Nikkei average of 225 selected issues listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange's top-tier Prime section advanced to 33,853.46 at 9:25 a.m., surpassing the previous year-to-date intraday high marked on June 19 and reaching the highest point since March 1990.

The key index later gave up gains to close at 33,388.03, down 197.17 points, or 0.59 pct, from Friday, weighed down by profit-taking selling.

"Expectations for higher share prices have increased on the back of strong corporate earnings," an official at a midsize securities firm said. Many Japanese companies have reported strong results and raised their projections in recent earnings announcements.

Meanwhile, stocks that had risen sharply in recent sessions came under profit-taking pressure as investors are expected to retreat to the sidelines later this week, with both the Japanese and U.S. stock markets to be closed on Thursday for national holidays, said a bank-affiliated securities firm official.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press