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Tokyo stocks end higher on weak yen vs. US dollar

This May 7, 2020 file photo shows the Tokyo Stock Exchange. (Mainichi)

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Tokyo stocks ended higher Tuesday as investor sentiment was lifted on hopes for an increase in earnings among export-oriented issues after the yen fell slightly against the U.S. dollar.

    The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average ended up 269.66 points, or 1.03 percent, from Monday at 26,423.47. The broader Topix index finished 9.41 points, or 0.50 percent, higher at 1,879.12.

    On the top-tier Prime Market, gainers were led by insurance, mining and electric appliance issues.

    The U.S. dollar climbed into the lower 136 yen range as Japanese importers bought the unit for settlement purposes, dealers said.

    At 5 p.m., the dollar fetched 136.08-09 yen compared with 135.70-80 yen in London at 4 p.m. and 135.44-46 yen in Tokyo at 5 p.m. Monday. U.S. financial markets were closed Monday for a national holiday.

    The euro was quoted at $1.0374-0375 and 141.17-21 yen against $1.0425-0435 and 141.50-55 yen in London and $1.0430-0432 and 141.27-31 yen in Tokyo late Monday afternoon.

    The yield on the benchmark 10-year Japanese government bond dipped 0.005 percentage point from Monday's close to 0.215 percent, as the Bank of Japan has been guiding the country's long-term interest rates to be no higher than around 0.25 percent.

    Stocks were in positive territory throughout the day, with the Nikkei index briefly gaining nearly 400 points in the morning following overnight advances in France's CAC 40 and the FTSE 100 in Britain.

    The Japanese currency's slight fall against the U.S. dollar also lifted the market, as a weaker yen boosts exporter profits earned overseas when repatriated.

    Sentiment was additionally lifted by media reports that U.S. President Joe Biden may announce a rollback of some Chinese tariffs, analysts said.

    "The move was a positive factor for the markets on hopes that it may not only tame inflation, but also improve the tense relationship between the United States and China," said Masahiro Yamaguchi, head of investment research at SMBC Trust Bank.

    Investors continued to scoop up battered shares after the "shocking" fall in Japanese stocks the previous week, he said.

    But the market was somewhat weighed on by the recent uptick in COVID-19 cases in Japan on the belief the government may delay the restart of its "Go To Travel" subsidy program, leading to a decline in some land transportation and department store issues, analysts said.

    West Japan Railway dropped 71 yen, or 1.4 percent, to 4,844 yen, while Isetan Mitsukoshi Holdings sank 11 yen, or 1.0 percent, to 1,050 yen.

    Ryohin Keikaku slid 15 yen, or 1.2 percent, to 1,219 yen, a day after the operator of the Muji household product brand said sales in June decreased by 11.4 percent from a year earlier.

    Among exporter issues lifted by the weak yen, Nissan Motor gained 1.8 yen, or 0.4 percent, to 514.2 yen and Canon rose 22 yen, or 0.7 percent, to 3,106 yen.

    Rakuten Group advanced 10 yen, or 1.6 percent, to 627 yen, a day after the e-commerce giant said its subsidiary Rakuten Bank has applied to list on the Tokyo Stock Exchange.

    KDDI added 63 yen, or 1.5 percent, to 4,304 yen, after the telecom giant said Monday its voice calls and data communications have almost been restored nationwide, nearly three days after maintenance services led to disruptions in up to 39 million mobile connections.

    Among Prime Market issues, advancing issues outnumbered decliners 1,007 to 749, while 82 ended unchanged.

    Trading volume on the Prime Market fell to 1,038.18 million shares from Monday's 1,097.79 million.

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