Tokyo stocks close higher on US rallies, cheap yen

Tokyo stocks close higher on US rallies, cheap yen

Monitoring Desk

TOKYO: Tokyo stocks closed higher on Monday, snapping a six-day losing streak as investors took heart from rallies on Wall Street and a cheaper yen against the dollar.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index gained 2.24 percent, or 485.38 points, to end at 22,195.38, while the broader Topix index advanced 1.78 percent, or 26.58 points, to 1,522.64.

“The Nikkei index rose for the first time in seven business days. It rallied after gains on US shares,” Okasan Online Securities said in a note.

But Mizuho Securities said in a commentary that traders were cautious over “the impact of the spread of the coronavirus infections on businesses”. Investors are also awaiting comments by US Federal Reserve speakers, said Rodrigo Catril, senior strategist at National Australia Bank.

The dollar fetched 105.89 yen, against 105.88 yen in New York and 104.28 yen in Tokyo late Friday.

Seven & i Holdings plunged 4.80 percent to 3,052 yen after the Japanese supermarket and convenience store chain operator said it had agreed to buy Marathon Petroleum’s Speedway gas stations for $21 billion, in a bid to expand operations in the US.

The acquisition is the largest in the history of the chain, and will give the firm control of around 3,900 Speedway sites, boosting the presence of the Japanese firm in the US to around 14,000 stores.

The move was not particularly warmly welcomed on the Tokyo exchange, with investors judging the price tag to be excessive, and the timing risky, given the rising number of coronavirus infections in the United States.

SoftBank Group jumped 5.10 percent to 6,932 yen while Uniqlo casual wear operator Fast Retailing climbed 2.87 percent to 57,660 yen. Sony added 2.94 percent to 8,314 yen and Toyota was up 1.81 percent at 6,330 yen.

Japan Airlines lost 2.10 percent to 1,675.5 yen before it announced a deep quarterly net loss. (AFP/APP)

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