Tokyo stocks jump 1.99 per cent by break
TOKYO: Tokyo stocks surged 1.99 per cent on Friday morning, as the yen resumed its slide and following another positive lead from the Dow Jones Industrial Average.
The benchmark Nikkei 225 index was up 211.61 points to 10,832.48 by the break, while the broader Topix index of all first-section shares rose 1.65 per cent, or 14.82 points, at 912.44.
“Stocks are set to rise as players key on the weaker yen, which is in turn bolstered by hopes for an acceleration in the global economic recovery,” said Hiroichi Nishi, SMBC Nikko Securities general manager of equities.
“Generally solid US corporate earnings are generating the feeling that Japanese earnings results, many of which are awaited next week, will also be good,” he told Dow Jones Newswires.
In forex trade, the dollar bought 90.52 yen, against 90.40 yen in New York, while the euro was at 120.92 yen against 120.91 yen. The single currency fetched $1.3352, from $1.3376.
The steep drop-off in Japan’s currency, after a new conservative government swept to power on pledges to pressure the Bank of Japan into aggressive easing, has sparked criticism that Tokyo was meddling with exchange rates.
On Thursday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel voiced concern about Japan’s foreign exchange policy, after the central bank set out a plan for indefinite monetary easing and adopted a new inflation target to stoke economic growth.
However, Japan’s Finance Minister Taro Aso on Friday rejected claims Tokyo was orchestrating a slide in the yen.
“The criticism that (the government) is manipulating the currency rate is completely off the mark,” Aso was quoted as saying in the online edition of the leading Nikkei business daily.
Meanwhile, the Tokyo market largely shrugged off official data showing Japan’s long-suffering economy remained stuck in a deflationary rut, with core consumer prices slipping 0.1 per cent in 2012, the fourth annual decline.
In afternoon trade Canon was up 1.21 per cent to 3,340 yen, Toyota rose 1.64 per cent to 4,315 yen, Nikon slipped 1.47 per cent to 2,544 yen and Sony jumped 8.49 per cent to 1,289 yen.
Sony’s spike followed a report that a Japanese government-backed fund will spearhead a plan to merge the lithium-ion battery businesses of the struggling electronics giant and other major Japanese firms.
On Thursday, the blue-chip Dow added 0.33 per cent to 13,825.33, lifted in part by an improvement of the weekly US jobless claims data, although the tech-heavy Nasdaq fell 0.74 per cent.