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Tokyo stocks end up as exporters boosted by cheap yen

By AFP   |   17 October 2016   |   11:47 am
A bank teller counts ¥10,000 bank notes in Tokyo. (Photo: AFP/Yoshikazu Tsuno)

A bank teller counts ¥10,000 bank notes in Tokyo. (Photo: AFP/Yoshikazu Tsuno)

Tokyo stocks closed higher for a second straight day on Monday as major exporters were lifted by a rally in the dollar against the yen.

Investors are increasingly betting on a US interest rate hike before the end of this year — sending the dollar rising above 104 yen — following a string of upbeat readings on the world’s number one economy.

A weaker yen inflates the profitability of Japan’s exporters.

“Stocks are looking good today, but many of the investors probably want to have a look at the earnings reports for Japanese companies, a lot of which will start being released next week, before pushing stock prices much higher,” Masahiro Ichikawa, senior strategist at Sumitomo Mitsui Asset Management, told Bloomberg News.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index ended up 0.26 percent, or 43.75 points, at 16,900.12, while the broader Topix index of all first-section issues rose 0.40 percent, or 5.37 points, to 1,352.56.

Fukushima operator Tokyo Electric Power tumbled 7.89 percent to 385 yen on dimming hopes that reactors at Kashiwazaki-Kariwa, the world’s largest nuclear plant, will be restarted.

An anti-nuclear candidate won a local weekend election in the central Japan prefecture where the plant is located.

Most of Japan’s reactors remain offline following the 2011 Fukushima accident caused by the earthquake and tsunami.

Automakers were broadly higher with Toyota closing 0.61 percent higher at 6,030 yen and Nissan up 0.22 percent at 996.2 yen.

Oil and gas developer Inpex rallied 2.35 percent to 1,045 yen after it said Friday an oil field in Kazakhstan, in which it has a stake, had started shipments.

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