Tokyo stocks close higher with eyes on US yields

TOKYO (AFP/APP): Tokyo stocks closed higher on Thursday despite a mixed finish on Wall Street, with investors cheering a lull in recent increases of US treasury yields.
The benchmark Nikkei 225 index ended up 1.23 percent, or 335.21 points, at 27,553.06, while the broader Topix index was up 0.67 percent, or 12.85 points, at 1,928.00.
“Even though the overall trend is that US yields are rising, there was a lull” in those increases overnight in New York, said Ichiro Asai, senior strategist at Daiwa Securities.
US shares ended mixed on disappointing Netflix earnings, “but the Tokyo market reacted positively to a slide in yields,” with investors buying shares from businesses with good growth potential, he said.
The dollar fetched 128.18 yen, against 127.84 yen in New York late Wednesday.
Market players are likely to remain cautious, however, awaiting comments from Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell ahead of the US central bank’s next meeting.
And a “wait-and-see mood” will also likely take hold of Japanese investors before earnings season gets into full swing next week, Mizuho Securities said.
Among major shares in Tokyo, battery maker Panasonic rallied 2.10 percent to 1,164.5 yen after Tesla reported another quarter of profit growth after the US market closed.
Electronic parts giant Nidec ended up 2.80 percent at 8,970 yen ahead of its earnings report later in the day.
Sony advanced 1.49 percent to 11,600 yen, Hitachi was up 0.98 percent at 6,068 yen, and Uniqlo operator Fast Retailing was up 2.76 percent at 1,780 yen.
SoftBank Group slipped 0.85 percent to 5,579 yen.