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Nikkei rises for 5th day to new 30-yr high on solid machinery orders

This Oct. 1, 2020 file photo shows the Tokyo Stock Exchange. (Mainichi)

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- The benchmark Nikkei extended its winning streak to a fifth day Thursday to finish at a new 30-year high, helped by solid Japanese machinery orders data that fueled expectations of an economic recovery.

    The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average ended up 241.67 points, or 0.85 percent, from Wednesday at 28,698.26, its highest closing since Aug. 3, 1990. The broader Topix index of all First Section issues on the Tokyo Stock Exchange finished 8.88 points, or 0.48 percent, higher at 1,873.28.

    Gainers were led by machinery, rubber product, land transportation, and information and communication issues.

    The U.S. dollar was firm against the yen during the day, edging up to the lower 104 yen zone as optimism grew that U.S. President-elect Joe Biden will unveil his long-awaited massive economic stimulus package later in the day, dealers said.

    At 5 p.m., the dollar fetched 104.03-04 yen compared with 103.84-94 yen in New York and 103.68-69 yen in Tokyo at 5 p.m. Wednesday.

    The euro was quoted at $1.2142-2144 and 126.32-36 yen against $1.2153-2163 and 126.23-33 yen in New York and $1.2203-2204 and 126.52-56 yen in Tokyo late Wednesday afternoon.

    The yield on the benchmark 10-year Japanese government bond rose 0.005 percentage point from Wednesday's close to 0.030 percent following higher U.S. Treasury yields overnight.

    Hopes for more U.S. stimulus have improved investors' risk appetite in stock markets, with the benchmark Nikkei jumping over 6 percent during the five trading days from Thursday last week.

    On Thursday, the Nikkei briefly approached the psychological threshold of 29,000.

    Additional support came from government data released early in the morning showing stronger-than-expected November core private-sector machinery orders, a leading indicator of capital expenditure, although Japan's economy has struggled to cope with the recent surge in coronavirus infections.

    "The data showed companies are restarting investment with a view the pandemic will finally end, raising hopes for a recovery in the real economy," said Koichi Fujishiro, a senior economist at Dai-ichi Life Research Institute.

    After buying ran out of steam, shares pared some gains in the late afternoon, with some market players locking in recent gains.

    On the First Section, declining issues outnumbered advancers 1,090 to 1,000, while 98 ended unchanged.

    Machine tool makers benefited from the machinery orders data. Industrial robot maker Fanuc gained 600 yen, or 2.2 percent, to 27,675 yen.

    Its rival Yaskawa Electric jumped 300 yen, or 5.3 percent, to 5,960 yen.

    Technology issues were also notably higher, tracking an overnight gain in their U.S. peers.

    SoftBank Group, which has bought many established tech firms, advanced 244 yen, or 2.9 percent, to 8,569 yen. Trend Micro grew 70 yen, or 1.2 percent, to 5,770 yen.

    Trading volume on the main section rose to 1,413.74 million shares from Wednesday's 1,239.56 million shares.

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