Japan’s Nikkei closes at 7-month high on eased U.S. inflation concerns

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Xinhua News

12th August 2022 – (Tokyo) Japan’s benchmark Nikkei stock index closed at a seventh-month high on Friday as eased concerns over U.S. inflation lifted sentiment and saw tech heavyweights gain.

The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average surged 727.65 points, or 2.62 percent, from Wednesday to close the day at 28,546.98, marking its highest closing level since Jan. 12.

The broader Topix index, meanwhile, jumped 39.53 points, or 2.04 percent, to finish at 1,973.18.

Financial markets here were closed Thursday for a national holiday.

Dealers here pointed out that weaker-than-expected U.S. economic data, including consumer and producer price indexes for July, eased concerns about the U.S. Federal Reserve increasing the level and pace of its rate hikes.

In particular, U.S. consumer prices were unchanged in July compared with June, data released Wednesday showed, with market analysts saying eased concerns over U.S. inflation prompted buying.

“The Japanese market is stronger today than I had expected. One reason for not buying stocks has been eliminated after investors confirmed the slower pace of U.S. inflation,” Jun Morita, general manager of the research department at Chibagin Asset Management, was quoted as saying.

By the close of play, precision instrument, electric appliance, and oil and coal product issues comprised those that gained the most, with rising issues outpacing falling ones by 1,607 to 192 on the Prime Market, while 39 ended the day unchanged.

Tech-related Nikkei heavyweights lifted the broader market, with SoftBank Group climbing 5.6 percent, while chip-making equipment maker Tokyo Electron jumped 4.5 percent.

Advantest advanced 3.9 percent and automation and robotics maker Fanuc jumped 5.9 percent.

Energy-oriented issues found favor after the International Energy Agency said that demand for oil in 2022 would rise as a result of increasing power generation.

As such, Eneos Holdings added 1.8 percent, while Cosmo Energy Holdings jumped 3.7 percent. Idemitsu Kosan, meanwhile, ended the day 3.5 percent higher.

On the Prime Market on Friday, 1,457.93 million shares changed hands, rising from Wednesday’s volume of 1,055.22 million shares.

The turnover on the final trading day of the week came to 3,712.69 billion yen (27.82 billion U.S. dollars). 

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