Nikkei 225 rises on Wall Street rally, yen’s fall

Stocks gained further ground Tuesday, buoyed by an overnight rally on Wall Street and the yen’s drop against the dollar.

The Nikkei 225 average climbed 63.33 points, or 0.35 percent, to close at 18,418.59. On Monday, the key market gauge gained 19.63 points.

The Topix, which covers all first-section issues, ended 5.84 points, or 0.40 percent, higher at 1,471.53 after rising 6.62 points Monday.

Buying took the upper hand from the outset, after New York stocks staged a sharp rebound Monday.

The market was also lifted by the yen’s fall against the dollar in the wake of U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin’s comments in a newspaper interview supporting the U.S. currency’s long-term strength, brokers said.

After the Nikkei rose more than 190 points in the early morning, the market’s topside grew heavy in thin trading.

Investors refrained from active trading ahead of such key events as earnings announcements by major Japanese and U.S. companies this week and the French presidential election on Sunday, brokers said.

The day’s rise came after the market showed several technical signs of an excessive drop, said Chihiro Ota, general manager for investment research and investor services at SMBC Nikko Securities Inc.

“But the market’s buoyancy was weak,” Ota also said. “Investors, particularly Europeans, are considerably wary of the French election,” given the surprising results of Britain’s national referendum on its leave from the European Union and the U.S. presidential election last year.

An official of another securities firm said the market is likely to struggle for direction for the time being as a wait-and-see mood is expected to persist until the end of the series of major events, including the 85th anniversary of the North Korean military’s founding on April 25.

Rising issues outnumbered falling ones 1,494 to 415 on the first section, while 106 issues were unchanged.

Volume increased to 1.575 billion shares, from Monday’s 1.454 billion.

Financial issues, such as mega-bank groups Mitsubishi UFJ, Sumitomo Mitsui and Mizuho, brokerage firm Nomura and insurer Tokio Marine, attracted buying after their U.S. peers fared well on Wall Street.

The weaker yen helped push up export-oriented names, including automakers Nissan, Subaru and Mazda, technology firms Hitachi and Kyocera and camera maker Canon.

Also on the plus side were game maker Nintendo, mobile phone carrier SoftBank and clothing store chain operator Fast Retailing.

By contrast, some domestic demand-oriented names, such as brewer Asahi, job information provider Recruit and furniture retailer Nitori, were downbeat.

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