The Business Times

Tokyo: Stocks jump 1.75% at open

Published Fri, Dec 19, 2014 · 12:24 AM
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[TOKYO] Tokyo stocks leapt 1.75 per cent at the open on Friday following sharp gains on Wall Street and a stronger dollar against the yen.

The Nikkei 225 index at the Tokyo Stock Exchange climbed 300.96 points to 17,511.01 at the start.

US stocks surged Thursday for the second day in a row on expectations that the US central bank may raise interest rates only in the middle of 2015 and not sooner.

Investors also brushed aside concerns about another drop in oil prices.

The blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average soared 421.28 points or 2.43 per cent to 17,778.15.

The broad-based S&P 500 shot up 2.40 per cent to 2,061.23, rising more than two percent for the second day in a row. Such a two-day streak has not happened since 2002.

The dollar has been firm since Wednesday's US Federal Reserve announcement that kept interest rates low and said the bank would be "patient in beginning to normalize the stance of monetary policy." The Fed's announcement did not accelerate the timing to raise interest rates but nonetheless signalled a steady move towards more normal monetary policy, analysts said.

The dollar was at 118.89 yen early Friday, compared with 118.81 yen in New York Thursday afternoon.

The euro bought US$1.2286 and 146.11 yen against US$1.2287 and 146.00 yen in US trade.

A weak yen is a positive for Japanese exporters as it makes them more competitive abroad and inflates profits when they are repatriated.


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