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Tokyo: Shares close 0.83% higher after Wall Street rally

Friday, May 15, 2015 - 15:45
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[TOKYO] Tokyo's Nikkei 225 stock index rose 0.83 per cent on Friday after several firms announced share buy-backs and Wall Street saw another record close, but Nikon plunged on a weak earnings forecast.

The benchmark index at the Tokyo Stock Exchange surged 162.68 points to finish at 19,732.92, while the Topix index of all first-section shares climbed 0.98 per cent, or 15.62 points, to 1,607.11.

As a generally upbeat earnings season draws to a close, Japan's biggest bank Mitsubishi UFJ was reportedly on track to report record annual profits and unveil a plan for a share buyback later in the day.

The lender's shares roared 3.31 per cent to 871.9 yen.

"Companies giving back to shareholders through moves like share buybacks and boosting dividends has increased - that's supportive for the market," Soichiro Monji, chief strategist at Daiwa SB Investments, told Bloomberg News.

US investors provided a healthy lead, with the broad-based S&P 500 bolting to a fresh record-high close Thursday, led by strong gains in Apple, Facebook and other technology stocks. It rose 1.08 per cent to end at 2,121.10. The Dow gained 1.06 percent and the Nasdaq jumped 1.39 percent.

In Tokyo, Toyota rose 1.43 per cent to 8,296.0 yen and Sony climbed 1.99 per cent to 3,892.0 yen.

Chipmaker Renesas jumped 2.93 per cent to 972 yen - after soaring as much as 12 per cent in early trade - on a report that US-based Avago was eyeing it as a potential acquisition target.

However, camera giant Nikon dropped 10.96 per cent to 1,527 yen as it cut its operating profit forecast.

Sharp tumbled 7.00 per cent to 186.0 yen after the struggling firm announced it took a 200 billion yen bailout from its banks and will slash its global workforce by about 10 per cent in a bid to stay afloat.

On currency markets, the dollar ticked up to 119.45 yen from 119.19 yen in New York.

AFP