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Wednesday, October 4, 2023

Tokyo’s benchmark Nikkei index flat by break

Tokyo's benchmark Nikkei index flat by breakTOKYO: Tokyo shares were flat Friday morning after a volatile week that has seen shares hit by worries about China’s economy and uncertainty over whether the US will raise interest rates next week.

The Nikkei 225 at the Tokyo Stock Exchange edged down 9.94 points to 18,289.68 by the break, paring early losses.

The broader Topix index of all first section shares rose 0.14 percent, or 2.02 points, to 1,481.54.

Friday’s gains came after a roller-coaster week that saw wild swings across global markets, including a 7.7 percent surge on the Nikkei Wednesday, followed by a 2.5 percent fall the next day.

However, a series of measures over the past few days out of Beijing have settled nerves while China’s leaders gave reassurances they had control of the a crisis, which has wiped trillions off global markets in recent weeks.

“Rather than being based on fundamentals, the market is being pulled and tugged by short-term events and technical levels,” Juichi Wako, a senior strategist at Nomura Holdings in Tokyo, told Bloomberg News.

But he added that expectations the US Federal Reserve’s policy committee — meeting next week — will hike rates for the first time in almost a decade in September have yet to be completely dispelled.

Buying was helped by healthy gain on Wall Street, where investors are hoping the central bank will hold fire on lifting rates.

In Japanese share trading Toyota fell 1.43 percent to 7,072 yen, market heavyweight Fast Retailing, operator of the Uniqlo clothing chain, gained 1.25 percent to 47,515 yen and telecom giant Softbank rose 2.82 percent to 6,740 yen.

The upbeat outlook weighed on the yen, considered a safe haven in times of turmoil.

The dollar rose to 120.83 yen in early Tokyo trade from 120.63 yen Thursday in New York, while the euro was at 136.34 yen against 136.01 yen.

Copyright AFP (Agence France-Presse), 2015

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