Tokyo’s benchmark index hits fresh one-year high
Tokyo stocks closed at a fresh one-year high yesterday, posting their longest winning streak since mid-2015 as a slumping yen boosted exporters. But Nintendo dived on profit-taking after the release of its highly anticipated iPhone game Super Mario Run while traders were also worried its price tag may hurt sales.
After Wednesday’s Federal Reserve rate hike, the dollar was trading around 10-month highs against the Japanese unit and multi-year highs against the euro. A weaker yen is generally good for profits for Japanese firms doing business abroad, stoking demand for their shares. “The yen is weakening at such a speed that it looks like it’s pricing in three US rate hikes next year,” Nomura senior strategist Juichi Wako told Bloomberg News.
The dollar bought 118.03 yen yesterday against 118.17 yen in New York Thursday afternoon, while the euro bought $1.0443 against $1.0416. The single European currency briefly fell below $1.04, hitting its lowest level since early 2003. The benchmark Nikkei 225 index added 0.66 percent, or 127.36 points, to end the day at 19,401.15, notching up its ninth successive gainthe longest stretch since May last year. Over the week, the Nikkei advanced 2.13 percent.
The broader Topix index of all firstsection shares was up 0.52 percent, or 7.95 points, to finish at 1,550.67. Over the week, the index rose 1.66 percent. US housing sales and durable goods orders for November and a German business confidence reading are on tap next week, while Japan’s central bank holds a two-day meeting from Tuesday.
Yesterday, Nintendo tumbled 4.24 percent to close at 26,405 yen. The drop could be a sign that gamers-and investors-are disappointed by the effort, although analysts said profit-taking may also be at play as the fall comes after a sharp run-up prior to Thursday’s release. The most profitable games are free but encourage users to buy extras. Canon rose 0.52 percent to 3,428 yen while electronic parts maker Kyocera climbed 1.98 percent to 5,921 yen.
Banks also advanced, with Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group gaining 1.73 percent to end at 768.1 yen and Mizuo soared 2.18 percent to close at 224.3 yen. — AFP