Nikkei hits one-month closing high on Wall Street gains


Stocks rose again Tuesday, thanks to buying encouraged by an overnight advance on Wall Street that pushed up the Nikkei 225 average to its highest closing level in more than a month.

The Nikkei jumped 230.85 points, or 1.18 percent, to close at 19,776.62, its best since Aug. 8. On Monday, the key market gauge surged 270.95 points.

The Topix, which covers all first-section issues, ended up 15.19 points, or 0.94 percent, at 1,627.45 after gaining 18.72 points Monday.

Stocks attracted brisk purchases after U.S. equities gained sharply Monday on the back of receding geopolitical risks over North Korea and smaller than expected damage caused by Hurricane Irma on the United States, brokers said.

The dollar’s strengthening above ¥109 also helped lift Tokyo stocks, brokers said.

“U.S. stocks fared well as investors took heart from the absence of provocations by North Korea on the (reclusive state’s) national foundation anniversary” Saturday, an official of a bank-affiliated securities firm said.

The official attributed the Tokyo market’s surge Tuesday to “buybacks by foreign investors who followed in the footsteps of domestic investors.” On Monday, the Tokyo Stock Exchange attracted hefty buybacks on receding concerns over the situation surrounding North Korea, which carried out a nuclear test Sept. 3.

A U.N. Security Council resolution imposing fresh sanctions against North Korea, adopted unanimously Monday, “made investors relieved,” said Yutaka Miura, senior technical analyst at Mizuho Securities Co.

“Speculation spread that North Korea will not launch a missile or conduct other provocative acts as the resolution was not as tough as originally proposed by the United States,” Miura said.

Rising issues far outnumbered falling ones 1,503 to 447 in the first section, while 76 issues were unchanged.

Volume rose to 1.654 billion shares from Monday’s 1.498 billion.

The weaker yen supported export-oriented names, including automakers Toyota and Nissan, as well as semiconductor-related Tokyo Electron and electronics maker Panasonic.

Mega-bank group Mitsubishi UFJ, brokerage firm Nomura and insurers Dai-ichi Life and Tokio Marine attracted purchases following a rise in U.S. interest rates.

Other major winners included clothing store chain operator Fast Retailing. Japan Post Holdings rebounded the day after the government announced plans to sell additional shares in the company.

By contrast, steel mill JFE Holdings and game maker Gumi met with selling.

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