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Tokyo stocks end higher after no shocks in June Fed minutes

This file photo shows the Tokyo Stock Exchange. (Mainichi)

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Tokyo stocks ended higher Thursday after the minutes from the U.S. Federal Reserve meeting in June provided a sense of relief due to the absence of any major surprises.

    The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average ended up 382.88 points, or 1.47 percent, from Wednesday at 26,490.53. The broader Topix index finished 26.36 points, or 1.42 percent, higher at 1,882.33.

    On the top-tier Prime Market, gainers were led by rubber product, electric appliance and transportation equipment issues.

    The U.S. dollar edged up to the lower 136 yen line following an overnight rise in U.S. Treasury yields, dealers said.

    At 5 p.m., the dollar fetched 136.11-14 yen compared with 135.85-95 yen in New York and 135.42-44 yen in Tokyo at 5 p.m. Wednesday.

    The euro was quoted at $1.0191-0193 and 138.72-76 yen against $1.0178-0188 and 138.33-43 yen in New York and $1.0258-0260 and 138.92-96 yen in Tokyo late Wednesday afternoon.

    The yield on the benchmark 10-year Japanese government bond was unchanged from Wednesday's close at 0.245 percent.

    Stocks were in positive territory throughout the day after the minutes of the two-day Fed policy meeting, released Wednesday, contained no major surprises regarding its aggressive stance, noting that the central bank supported a 0.50 or 0.75 percentage point rate hike for July to tame inflation.

    The minutes also did not mention a possible recession in the United States, putting market participants at ease, analysts said.

    "Investors were relieved as it didn't include any unexpectedly hawkish comments and landed within the market consensus," said Shingo Ide, chief equity strategist at the NLI Research Institute.

    Stocks extended gains in the afternoon, briefly lifting the Nikkei index over 400 points on a climb in U.S. stock futures, analysts said.

    But sentiment was weighed down by reports that the Japanese government is planning to delay a nationwide travel subsidy program, initially due to be rolled out in the first half of July, amid an upward trend in COVID-19 cases in the country.

    The reports led to a sell-off of a wide range of travel-related issues, Ide said.

    Meanwhile, some investors took a wait-and-see approach ahead of the release of the U.S. jobs data on Friday, he added.

    Among Prime Market issues, advancing issues outnumbered decliners 1,380 to 403, while 55 ended unchanged.

    Among land and air transportation issues, Keisei Electric Railway fell 70 yen, or 2.0 percent, to 3,440 yen, Central Japan Railway slipped 135 yen, or 0.9 percent, to 14,985 yen, while Japan Airlines sank 27 yen, or 1.2 percent, to 2,213 yen.

    Travel agency H.I.S. slid 7 yen, or 0.4 percent, to 1,907 yen, while Oriental Land, operator of Tokyo Disney Resort, declined 150 yen, or 0.8 percent, to 18,170 yen.

    Aeon soared 262.0 yen, or 11.0 percent, to 2,650.0 yen, a day after the retailer released solid earnings for the March-May business period that saw its operating profit hit a record high.

    Trading volume on the Prime Market fell to 1,278.95 million shares from Wednesday's 1,389.15 million.

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