Nikkei extends gains as panic subsides
TOKYO: Japan's Nikkei share average extended the previous day's gains on Thursday after a strong rebound on Wall Street and continued calm in Chinese markets eased investors' fears of a prolonged global market rout. Expectations that the U.S. Federal Reserve might not raise interest rates next month also aided sentiment.
The Nikkei rose 1.1 percent to 18,574.44, recouping some of the huge losses it suffered in the six-day losing streak that lasted through Tuesday. "The panic is starting to subside, so, instead of being intensely focused on China, people are starting to look more broadly at the international picture," said Nicholas Smith, a strategist at CLSA. "And, the rest of the developed world seems to be chugging along reasonably well outside of some problems in commodities nations and emerging markets. North America and Europe are doing just fine and that's what really drives things as far as Japan is concerned--the shopping malls of rich nations."
Market participants said intense international focus may overshadow Friday's release of data on Japan's domestic unemployment, retail sales and household spending. "I think Friday's domestic numbers will have a far less significant effect on the market in Japan than foreign investor perception of Japanese companies," said Martin King, co-managing director of Tyton Capital Advisers in Tokyo.