Nikkei average rises for sixth day running, closes up 132 points at 20,823

As jitters over North Korea somewhat receded Tuesday, the key Nikkei average rose for the sixth straight session to mark a fresh two-year closing high on the Tokyo Stock Exchange.

The Nikkei 225 gained 132.80 points, or 0.64 percent, to finish at 20,823.51, its highest close since July 21, 2015. On Friday, the key market gauge rose 62.15 points.

The Topic ended up 7.98 points, or 0.47 percent, at 1,695.14. It climbed 4.67 points the previous trading day.

The Tokyo market was closed Monday for a national holiday.

Stocks got off to a weaker start following a fall in New York equities Monday.

But the Tokyo market soon took an upturn and accelerated its upswing toward the close as investors were relieved that North Korea took no provocative action on the 72nd anniversary Tuesday of the founding of the Workers’ Party of Korea, brokers said.

“Stocks attracted purchases as geopolitical tensions (over North Korea) eased,” said Masahiro Ichikawa, senior strategist at Sumitomo Mitsui Asset Management Co.

“There were no other major buying incentives on Tuesday,” he added.

“Although some large-cap issues, including insurers, met with selling, the market was brisk thanks to purchases of small- and mid-cap names by individual investors,” said Chihiro Ota, general manager for investment research and investor services at SMBC Nikko Securities Inc.

Yoshihiko Tabei, chief analyst at Naito Securities Co., showed concern that the market may be overheating for now.

But he also said that the Nikkei average “could reach 21,000 if earnings reports due out later this month are strong.”

Rising issues overwhelmed falling ones 1,421 to 523 in the TSE’s first section, while 86 issues were unchanged.

Volume edged up to 1.48 billion shares from Friday’s 1.45 billion.

Pasona jumped 16.79 percent after the staffing agency said Friday that its group operating profit for the June-August period increased 4.78-fold from a year before to ¥1.03 billion.

Also on the plus side were automaker Toyota and mobile phone carrier SoftBank Group.

By contrast, Kobe Steel went limit-down after announcing Sunday that inspection data for some of its aluminum and copper products had been falsified.

MS&AD fell 3.86 percent after the insurer on Friday said it expects to incur a loss of ¥70 billion to ¥110 billion due to hurricanes and earthquakes that hit North and Central America in August and September. Its peers Sompo Holdings and Tokio Marine were also downbeat.

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