TOKYO: Japan’s Nikkei ended above the key psychological level of 29,000 on Wednesday for the first time in more than seven months, after an overnight Wall Street rally in major indexes following robust earnings by US retailers.
The Nikkei share average rose 1.23% to 29,222.77, its highest closing level since Jan. 5. The broader Topix advanced 1.26% to 2,006.99.
“Strong US equities lifted investor sentiment,” said Takatoshi Itoshima, a strategist at Pictet Asset Management Japan. “Investors responded to the upbeat earnings of US retailers.” The Dow and S&P 500 had risen on Tuesday as stronger-than-expected results and outlooks from Walmart and Home Depot bolstered views on the health of consumers, while technology shares declined and weighed on the Nasdaq.
Uniqlo clothing store owner Fast Retailing was the biggest boost to the Nikkei, rising 2.8%, followed by air-conditioner maker Daikin Industries, up 2.02% and telephone company KDDI, gaining 1.43%.
Tokyo Electric Power Holdings added 3.66% on expectations of a restart of nuclear power plants after a report that the nuclear authority approved establishment of anti-terrorism facilities at a nuclear plant, a market participant said.
Among technology heavyweights, cybersecurity platform provider Trend Micro lost 2.08% and weighed on the Nikkei the most. Robot maker Fanuc slipped 0.89%.
There were 207 advancers on the Nikkei index against 17 decliners.
The volume of shares traded on the Tokyo Stock Exchange’s main board was 1.18 billion, compared to the last 30-day average of 1.16 billion.