TOKYO: Japan’s Nikkei index closed at its highest level in more than two months on Thursday, after Wall Street rose overnight on hopes for a slower pace of interest rate hikes by the US Federal Reserve.
The Nikkei share average ended 0.95% higher at 28,383.09 — the highest level since Sept. 13.
The broader Topix jumped 1.21% to 2,018.80. Wall Street’s main indexes ended overnight with solid gains after the Fed’s November meeting minutes showed interest rate hikes may slow soon.
The readout of the Nov. 1-2 meeting, at which the Fed raised its key rate by 75 basis points for the fourth straight time in an effort to combat decades-high inflation, showed officials were largely satisfied they could stop front-loading the rate increases and move in smaller steps.
The minutes lifted sentiment, and global investors were also seen targeting Japanese shares, said Chihiro Ohta, assistant general manager at the investment research and investor services at SMBC Nikko Securities.
Chip-related heavyweights provided the biggest boost to the Nikkei, with Tokyo Electron and Advantest climbing 3.55% and 4.56%, respectively.
Cyber Agent, which broadcast World Cup soccer games on internet for free, surged 7.44% after Japan made a stunning 2-1 upset over four-times champions Germany in their World Cup Group E opener on Wednesday.
Hub, which runs British style pubs, surged 10.5%. Shionogi & Co edged up 0.26%, paring most of early gains, after Japan on Friday said it would grant emergency approval to the drugmaker’s COVID-19 drug.
Shipping firms jumped 5.07%, leading the gains among Tokyo Stock Exchange’s 33 industry sub-indexes.
Nippon Yusen jumped 6.05% and Mitsui O.S.K. Lines Ltd advanced 4%.