Tokyo up for 10th straight day, dollar at 8-year high

GMT 07:13 2015 Thursday ,28 May

Arab Today, arab today Tokyo up for 10th straight day, dollar at 8-year high

Japan's Nikkei stock index
Hong Kong - AFP

Japan's Nikkei stock index climbed for a tenth straight day Thursday as the dollar advanced to an eight-year high against the yen, while Shanghai extended gains to more than 15 percent over the past eight sessions.

Wall Street provided an ideal lead, with the Nasdaq surging to a new record high, while the euro edged up slightly as investors watch with trepidation snail-pace talks between Greece and its creditors over reforming its bailout.

Tokyo rose 0.59 percent and Shanghai added 0.12 percent while Seoul gained 0.64 percent.

But Hong Kong dipped 0.50 percent and Sydney eased 0.49 percent.

The dollar has resumed its bull run against the yen on growing expectations that the Federal Reserve will hike interest rates by the end of the year while Japan's central bank is tipped to embark on more monetary easing to kickstart a soporific economy.

The chances of a hike have increased following upbeat US data this week and comments from Fed boss Janet Yellen Friday that rates would go up "at some point this year".

On currency markets the dollar climbed above 124 yen briefly in New York Wednesday, the first time since June 2007.

It was at 123.70 yen early Thursday in Tokyo after finishing at 123.63 yen in US trade, and well up from 123.08 yen in Tokyo earlier Wednesday.

“It’s likely that the yen will continue to slowly weaken and we’ll have a global risk-on mode, stocks won’t rise too quickly but they’ll have a steady climb,” Mitsushige Akino, executive officer at Ichiyoshi Asset Management Co in Tokyo, told Bloomberg News.

“The US economy is OK and as Yellen said recently, the US is trying to raise rates,” he said.

The Nasdaq jumped 1.47 percent to another record, the Dow added 0.67 percent and the S&P 500 gained 0.92 percent.

The euro edged up to $1.0914 and 135.00 yen against $1.0906 and 134.83 yen in New York but traders are keeping close tabs on events in Europe as a deadline for Greece to repay some of its debts approaches on June 5.

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said on Wednesday his country was "in the final stretch" of talks with its EU-IMF creditors on an agreement to release bailout funds that are needed for it to service its debts.

However, EU sources said a meeting in Brussels between the two sides had been delayed by several hours, while European Commission Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis earlier said there were important areas still to be resolved.

There are fears that if Athens defaults it could tumble out of the eurozone, which would likely roil global markets.

Oil prices edged up after falling Wednesday owing to the stronger dollar. US benchmark West Texas Intermediate for July delivery rose 35 cents to $57.86 while Brent crude for July gained 52 cents to $62.58.

Gold fetched $1,187.45 compared with $1,184.80 late Wednesday.

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