The Business Times

Tokyo: Shares soar 3.98% to biggest one-day gain in over a year

Published Mon, Oct 20, 2014 · 07:41 AM
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[Tokyo] Tokyo stocks jumped 3.98 per cent on Monday, notching up their biggest one-day points gain in over a year following a sharp rise on Wall Street and as a weaker yen boosted exporters.

The Nikkei 225 index at the Tokyo Stock Exchange, which had closed at a five-month low on Friday, rose 578.72 points to 15,111.23 - the largest one-day points gain since June 2013.

The broader Topix index of all first-section shares jumped 4.0 per cent, or 47.12 points, to end at 1,224.34.

"Based on the sheer number of stocks that were flashing oversold signals from last week's selloff, the argument can be made that a short-cover rally was in order and just looking for a catalyst," said Hiroyuki Fukunaga, CEO at Investrust.

By Friday's close the Nikkei had lost more than 10 per cent since hitting a seven-year high of 16,374.14 in late September - putting the benchmark index into correction territory.

"The Nikkei is up, tracing gains in Europe and the US late last week, as well as a weaker yen," said Daisuke Uno, chief market strategist of Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp.

"But the rally in Europe and the US also was, so far, a one-day event. I don't think this boost today will create an upward breakthrough yet." The dollar rose to 107.26 yen Monday afternoon from 106.78 yen in New York Friday afternoon, giving a lift to Japanese exporters whose profitability benefits from a weaker yen.

Automakers rose, partly driven by upbeat European sales, with Toyota soaring 5.18 per cent to 6,028.0 yen. Nissan jumped 4.12 per cent to 955.9 yen and Honda added 3.45 per cent to close at 3,367.5 yen.

Sony jumped 3.87 per cent to 1,875.0 yen and Canon rose 2.29 per cent to 3,253.0 yen.

Also boosting sentiment, Japan's leading Nikkei business daily reported Monday that the national pension fund, the world's largest, is working out plans to boost its domestic stock holdings.

And in an interview with the Financial Times, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe hinted that he may delay a second sales tax rise next year after an increase in April - aimed at paying down a massive national debt - hit growth in the world's number-three economy.

Tokyo's gains followed a rally on Wall Street Friday where the Dow added 1.63 per cent, the S&P 500 jumped 1.29 per cent and the Nasdaq gained 0.97 per cent.

US shares had veered towards correction territory in the middle of last week on concerns about the eurozone and the spread of the Ebola virus.

Chinese economic growth figures this week will be a key trading cue, dealers said.

On the negative side Japanese industry minister Yuko Obuchi and Justice Minister Midori Matsushima resigned over funds scandals, dealing a blow to Abe and his programme to get more women into the workforce. AFP

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