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Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Tokyo shares close 0.44pc higher on weak yen

Tokyo shares close 0.44pc higher on weak yenTOKYO: Tokyo stocks rose 0.44 percent Thursday as a weakening yen boosted exporters while falling oil prices lifted Japanese airlines.

The Nikkei 225 index at the Tokyo Stock Exchange added 90.28 points to end at 20,683.95, while the Topix index of all first-section shares climbed 0.57 percent, or 9.51 points, to 1,664.88.

On currency markets, the greenback resumed its rise against the yen after a strong batch of US housing data bolstered the case for the Federal Reserve to hike interest rates.

The dollar rose to 124.07 yen from 123.96 yen in New York Wednesday.

Official figures showed sales of existing homes in the US surged in June to their highest level in more than eight years and prices hit a record high.

“It’s not determined yet whether the US rate hikes will be in September or December, but the housing data strengthens the case for a September hike a little,” Mitsushige Akino, executive officer at Ichiyoshi Asset, told Bloomberg News.

Oil prices fell Wednesday after US government data showed higher crude stockpiles, adding to concerns about a global supply glut but providing good news for resource-poor Japan, which turned to pricey energy imports after the Fukushima nuclear crisis.

Shortly before the opening bell, finance ministry data showed Japan’s trade deficit narrowed sharply last month as exports picked up while a sky-high energy import bill continued to fall.

The prospect of lower fuel prices boosted airline shares, with All Nippon Airways’ parent company rising 2.33 percent to 380.7 yen while rival Japan Airlines added 1.62 percent to 4,695 yen.

Market heavyweight Fast Retailing, which operates the Uniqlo clothing chain, was up 0.83 percent to 59,280 yen.

Sony jumped 3.68 percent to 3,660.5 yen, Toyota edged down 0.01 percent to 8,277 yen and mobile carrier SoftBank gained 0.17 percent to 7,003 yen.

Drugmaker Eisai tumbled 5.86 percent to 8,320 yen after a partner’s experimental Alzheimer’s drug had a weaker-than-hoped effect in testing.

Copyright AFP (Agence France-Presse), 2015

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