TOKYO: Tokyo stocks closed higher on Thursday as investors cheered solid corporate earnings and the Bank of Japan’s decision to stick with its monetary easing policies.
The benchmark Nikkei 225 index ended up 1.75 percent, or 461.27 points, at 26,847.90, while the broader Topix index advanced 2.09 percent, or 38.86 points, to 1,899.62.
The Japanese market opened higher and shares rose further after the central bank said it would keep its ultra-loose monetary policy unchanged, despite an upward revision of its inflation forecast and a slump in the yen to a 20-year low.
“The Bank of Japan’s stance to keep or even strengthen its easing policy was confirmed, prompting the yen to fall further, (both of which) gave relief to investors,” Ryuta Otsuka, senior strategist of Toyo Securities, told AFP.
A weaker yen benefits Japan’s major exporters although some analysts say the currency’s current level is hurting the economy of the resource-poor country as it pushes up the price of imported goods.
The dollar firmed against the yen after the BoJ’s announcement, changing hands at 130.32 yen in late Tokyo hours, against 128.46 yen in early Asian trade and from 128.43 yen on Wednesday in New York.
Stocks were also buoyed by robust earnings issued Wednesday by Advantest, a major producer of testing tools for semiconductors, as well as buyback announcements by other companies, Okasan Online Securities said.
Japan is now entering a holiday period known as Golden Week, and the Tokyo market will be closed on Friday for a long weekend. Next week, trading will only take place on Monday and Friday.
Events during this period include a decision from the Federal Reserve, whose moves towards hiking interest rates have dragged on market sentiment, and US corporate earnings including Amazon, Apple, Intel, Twitter and McDonald’s.
In Tokyo, small vehicle specialist Suzuki ended down 0.46 percent at 3,908 yen after German prosecutors raided the company over the alleged use of devices that make vehicles appear less polluting than they actually are.
Advantest roared 4.29 percent to 8,990 yen, while chipmaker Murata rose 3.00 percent to 7,794 yen.
Engineering conglomerate Hitachi rose 2.85 percent to 6,072 yen. After market close, US private equity giant KKR announced it will bid to acquire Hitachi Transport System in a mega-deal reportedly worth a total of $5.3 billion.
Toyota rallied 3.23 percent to 2,235.5 yen and Sony Group firmed 2.14 percent to 11,220 yen.