Tokyo’s Nikkei hits 10-month high on US rallies

19 October 2019
Tokyo’s Nikkei hits 10-month high on US rallies
Pedestrians walk in front of an electric quotation board displaying the numbers on the Nikkei 225 index on the Tokyo Stock Exchange October 16, 2019. Photo: AFP

Tokyo's benchmark Nikkei index rose to its highest level in more than 10 months following rallies on Wall Street, though trade was cautious ahead of a British vote on a new Brexit deal.

The Nikkei 225 index rose 0.18 percent, or 40.82 points, to 22,492.68, the highest since December 3. Over the week, it jumped 3.2 percent.

The broader Topix index was down 0.13 percent, or 2.17 points, at 1,621.99, but rose 1.7 percent from a week earlier.

"The US rallies are seen supporting Japanese stocks... but investor appetite for taking a risk and buying is limited ahead of the UK parliament's vote over Brexit," Okasan Online Securities said in a commentary.

Wall Street stocks rose Thursday partly due to progress in Brexit talks after Britain and the European Union announced a new deal.

Analysts welcomed the news that British Prime Minister Boris Johnson reached an agreement with EU leaders on a divorce deal that amends the prior deal's provisions on the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

However, Johnson faces an uphill battle getting it through parliament.

China said Friday morning that its economy expanded at its slowest rate in nearly three decades in the third quarter, hit by cooling domestic demand and a protracted US trade war.

"It was a negative element but the impact was limited as investors are expecting fiscal measures to boost the Chinese economy," Yoshihiro Okumura, general manager at Chibagin Asset Management, told AFP.

Shortly before the opening bell, Japan's internal affairs ministry released data showing the country's core consumer price index edged up 0.3 percent year-on-year in September, slowing from a 0.5 percent rise the previous month.

The latest data underpins the challenge the Bank of Japan faces in achieving its longstanding two-percent inflation target.

The dollar fetched 108.53 yen, slightly down from 108.62 yen in New York late Thursday.

In Tokyo, China-linked shares were mixed, with industrial robot maker Fanuc up 2.20 percent at 21,075 yen but electronic parts maker Rohm down 0.89 percent at 8,830 yen.

Market heavyweight and Uniqlo casual wear operator Fast Retailing was up 1.81 percent at 69,500 yen.