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Tokyo’s Nikkei index back near 18-year high

Latest Update: July 21, 2015 | 168 Views

TOKYO: Tokyo s benchmark stock index bounced back to a near 18-year high on Tuesday, lifted by a weak yen and a rally on Wall Street.

The Nikkei 225 at the Tokyo Stock Exchange rose 0.93 percent, or 191.05 points, to close at 20,841.97, just shy of the 20,868.03 reached last month, its highest finish since December 1996.

The broader Topix index of all first-section shares advanced 0.66 percent, or 10.94 points, to 1,673.88.

Stocks surged on sustained market optimism, reinforced by strong US corporate earnings reports.

In New York, the Nasdaq marked a third straight record high as solid earnings from toymaker Hasbro and others kicked off a heavy week of quarterly results.

The Nasdaq added 0.17 percent, the Dow gained 0.08 percent and the S&P 500 finished 0.08 percent higher, just short of an all-time high.

“The weaker yen and cheaper oil will have a positive effect on Japanese stocks,” Toshihiko Matsuno, chief strategist at SMBC Friend Securities Co. in Tokyo, told Bloomberg News.

The dollar firmed to 124.43 yen — levels not seen since mid-June — from 124.30 yen in New York late Monday.

The euro fetched $1.0825 and 134.65 yen, against $1.0824 and 134.55 yen in US trade.

Toshiba soared 6.13 percent to 399.90 yen after a team of company-hired investigators confirmed that the firm “systematically” inflated profits over several years.

Top executives resigned to take responsibility for the $1.2 billion padding, but the report was taken as good news for investors because it ended months of uncertainty over accounting problems at one of Japan s best-known firms.

On oil markets, US benchmark West Texas Intermediate for August delivery was down 10 cents to $50.05, after briefly dipping to $49.94, and Brent crude for September fell eight cents to $56.57 a barrel in morning Asian trade.



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