Tokyo stocks close

Tokyo stocks close higher on US rallies

TOKYO (AFP/APP): Tokyo stocks closed higher Thursday, extending US rallies on hopes of new stimulus after President Joe Biden took office.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index rose 0.82 percent, or 233.60 points, to 28,756.86, while the broader Topix index advanced 0.60 percent, or 11.06 points, to 1,860.64.

Japanese shares tracked US rallies “as investors largely welcomed the Biden administration”, said Toshikazu Horiuchi, a broker at IwaiCosmo Securities.

Wall Street hit new records and stock markets climbed worldwide after Biden took office on Wednesday, with traders delighted by his plan to inject even more stimulus into the world’s largest economy. The dollar fetched 103.35 yen in Asian afternoon trade, against 103.53 yen in New York.

The Bank of Japan on Thursday revised its growth outlook upwards for the next two years and maintained its ultra-loose monetary policy.

“The market shrugged off the BoJ statement, which was within expectations,” Horiuchi told AFP.

In Tokyo, tech and IT shares were higher, with Panasonic rallying 4.97 percent to 1,404 yen and Fujitsu up 1.47 percent at 16,185 yen.

SoftBank Group jumped 2.89 percent to 8,946 yen and Uniqlo casual wear operator Fast Retailing was up 0.83 percent at 91,870 yen. Japan’s trade surplus in December stood at 751 billion yen ($7.3 billion), exceeding market expectations of 719 billion yen, data released 10 minutes before the opening bell showed.

For the year 2020, the country’s trade account booked a surplus of 674.7 billion yen, after two years of trade deficit.

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