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Markets

Tokyo's Nikkei closes up more than 1.7%

  • SoftBank Group rallied 3.35 percent to 10,635 yen on bargain-hunting, but Uniqlo casual wear operator Fast Retailing lost 0.13 percent to 94,700 yen.
Published March 12, 2021
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TOKYO: Tokyo's benchmark Nikkei index jumped more than 1.7 percent Friday, closing up for a fourth straight session, as investors cheered a new US economic package and the ECB's stimulus bond-buying.

The Nikkei 225 index rose 1.73 percent, or 506.19 points, to 29,717.83. Over the week, it gained 3.0 percent.

The broader Topix index increased 1.36 percent, or 26.14 points, to 1,951.06 and advanced 2.9 percent from a week ago.

Japanese shares opened higher after US President Joe Biden signed the eagerly anticipated economic relief package.

"The package has been factored in but it is still good news," said Shinichi Yamamoto, a broker at c in Tokyo.

Meanwhile the European Central Bank said after its monetary policy meeting that it would ramp up the pace of its pandemic emergency bond-buying, in a clear bid to soothe market jitters about a rise in government borrowing costs and inflation.

The ECB's move, which helped boost European and US bourses, also supported the Tokyo market, analysts said.

"Sentiment has improved steadily," Yamamoto said, adding that the Nikkei index can top the 30,000 mark if the US Federal Reserve sends a positive message following its policy meeting next week.

The dollar fetched 108.75 yen in Asian afternoon trade, against 108.53 yen in New York late Thursday.

Electronics and gaming shares were among winners. Sony jumped 2.90 percent to 11,330 yen with Nintendo up 1.52 percent at 60,650 yen.

SoftBank Group rallied 3.35 percent to 10,635 yen on bargain-hunting, but Uniqlo casual wear operator Fast Retailing lost 0.13 percent to 94,700 yen.

E-commerce giant Rakuten soared 8.63 percent to 1,245 yen and Japan Post gained 4.88 percent to 1,025.5 yen on reports that the two firms agreed to form a capital alliance.

They confirmed the deal after the closing bell.

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