Nikkei adds 1.01% on yen's retreat, hopes for US

GMT 20:35 2014 Friday ,24 October

Arab Today, arab today Nikkei adds 1.01% on yen's retreat, hopes for US

The Nikkei stock index
Tokyo - XINHUA

 The Nikkei stock index gained 1.01 percent Friday as investor sentiment was lifted by a weaker Japanese yen in currency markets and high hopes for both domestic and U.S. corporate earnings.
The Nikkei 225 index gained 152.68 points to end the week at 15, 291.64, while the broader Topix index of all first-section issues added 0.81 percent, or 9.98 points, to close at 1,242.32.
Brokers heres said that the dollar's rise on strong corporate earnings helped lift Wall Street higher overnight and ensure the market here get off to a good start in the morning session.
Traders said that hopes were high for further positive earnings reports from U.S. companies, which often give their Japanese counterparts or the relevant industry here a boost.
Also helping to underpin the market, analysts said, were receding fears about the health of the global economy, which gave investors the confidence to chase riskier assets, although a New York doctor who tested positive for the Ebola virus, having recently returned from Guinea in West Africa, bringing the total of Ebola cases in the U.S. to four, dampened the market mood in later trade, they said.
"Strong U.S. earnings are a signal of a strong economy, which means Japan's economy and earnings will be good," said Koichi Kurose, chief market strategist at Resona Bank Ltd.
"America's economy is big, so if the spread of Ebola leads to a withering of the economy there, then the global economy will also wither," Kurose added.
On the health of the global economy, data coming in above median market expectations showing that manufacturing in the eurozone unexpectedly increased in October as was the case in China, with both manufacturing purchasing managers' indexes for October released Thursday, created relief among market players here, despite concerns over the Ebola virus.
"Concerns for the global economy are easing following the macro and micro news from the U.S. and Europe. While there are positive and negative Japanese earnings, there's still room for them to be revised upwards, just because of the weaker yen," said Juichi Wako, an equity strategist at Nomura Holdings Inc.
In currency market the U.S. dollar was changing hands at 107.98 yen in later trade, compared to 108.27 logged in New York, but firmly above the 107.24 level logged in Tokyo in early trade yesterday.
Export-oriented issues performed well thanks to the boost from the weaker yen, and top automaker Toyota gained 1.8 percent to close at 6,151 yen, while data storage and electronic component maker TDK advanced 1.7 percent to finish at 5,840 yen.
Takata, a parts maker for automobiles, dropped a further 2.78 percent to 1,538 yen, following news that U.S. justice officials are investigating the firm over its faulty airbags, which may have killed several people.
Honda Motor skidded down 1.3 percent to 3,322 yen, following the automaker issuing a recall of 425,825 vehicles due to a faulty engine part.
But Hitachi marked a bright spot on the market, rising 3.5 percent to 803 yen, following the company upwardly revising its earnings estimate for the April-September first half.
Fujifilm Holdings remained in the spotlight on the last trading day of the week, gaining 2.5 percent to 3,587 yen, on increasing expectations for the firm's anti-influenza drug Avigan, the results of which were tested by group company Toyama Chemical Co. and have had positive results in Europe.
But the latest reports on the migration of the Ebola virus sent air transportation issues lower, with Japan Airlines falling 0.6 percent to 2,878 yen, while ANA Holdings lost 0.3 percent to end at 244 yen.
Heavy machinery makers performed well, thanks to a relevant index posting robust gains and construction machinery maker Komatsu gained 1.5 percent to 2,428 yen, while industrial robotics maker Fanuc Corp. added 1 percent to 18,715 yen.
Hitachi Construction Machinery Co., for its part, jumped 2 percent to close the week at 2,015 yen.
Trading volume on Friday declined to 1.92 billion shares on the Tokyo Exchange's First Section, down from Thursday's volume of 2. 01 billion shares, with advancing issues beating declining ones by 1,149 to 552.

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