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Tokyo stocks close higher as investors focus on Korean summit

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Pedestrians are reflected on a stock indicator showing share prices of the Shanghai B-share stock price in Tokyo on April 5, 2018. Tokyo stocks closed higher on April 5 as fears of a US-China trade war eased and the yen weakened against the dollar. / AFP PHOTO / Behrouz MEHRI

Tokyo stocks closed higher on Friday, underpinned by gains on Wall Street and investor confidence in corporate earnings, as well as expectations of a positive tone at a landmark inter-Korean summit.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index rose 0.66 percent or 148.26 points to end at 22,467.87. Over the week, it rose 1.38 percent.

The broader Topix index was up 0.29 percent or 5.10 points at 1,777.23. Over the week, it gained 1.49 percent.

“So far the market has largely welcomed the summit, which staged a friendly atmosphere,” Hikaru Sato, senior technical analyst at Daiwa Securities, told AFP.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and the South’s President Moon Jae-in held a historic summit after shaking hands over the Military Demarcation Line that divides their countries.

“As the summit got off to a smooth start, the news helped improve market sentiment, while investors are closely monitoring individual companies in the middle of a corporate results season,” he said.

But Sato warned it is “too early to assess the long-term impact of the geopolitics surrounding North Korea on the market.”

Next week, Tokyo markets are open only on Tuesday and Wednesday due to the annual Golden Week holiday.

The Bank of Japan kept its monetary policy steady Friday after two-day meeting, though it removed a timeframe for achieving its inflation target from a report, suggesting the struggle it has faced reaching the goal.

The dollar was trading at 109.28 yen against 109.34 yen in New York Thursday afternoon, hardly reacting to solid Japanese production data released early Friday.

In trade in individual stocks, Nintendo climbed 1.62 percent to 46,170 yen after it announced robust annual earnings.

Industrial robot maker Fanuc plunged 9.33 percent to 23,560 yen after announcing its net profit would sink in the current year.

Softbank jumped 4.07 percent to 8,501 yen while Sony fell 0.79 percent to 5,400 yen.

Wall Street stocks jumped Thursday after blowout earnings from Facebook ignited a rally in shares of large technology companies.


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