Markets: Japan's Nikkei hits 33-year high

Weak yen, US optimism see investors rushing in

By Reuters

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A person looks at an electronic stock board showing Japan's Nikkei 225 index at a securities firm in the rain on Monday in Tokyo. Asian shares are mostly higher after President Joe Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy reached a final agreement on a deal to raise the U.S. national debt ceiling. — AP
A person looks at an electronic stock board showing Japan's Nikkei 225 index at a securities firm in the rain on Monday in Tokyo. Asian shares are mostly higher after President Joe Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy reached a final agreement on a deal to raise the U.S. national debt ceiling. — AP

Published: Mon 29 May 2023, 2:40 PM

Japan’s Nikkei share average rose on Monday to its highest level since July 1990, buoyed by optimism over a US debt ceiling deal and a weaker yen.

Shares of Japanese chip-related companies continued to outperform after AI euphoria lifted Wall Street peers.


The Nikkei jumped as high as 31,560.43 within the first 10 minutes of trading, although gains mitigated to see the index enter the midday break up 1.32 per cent at 31,325.84, close to the session low.

US President Joe Biden said on Sunday he had finalised a budget agreement with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, and the deal was ready to move to Congress for a vote. However, the deal has drawn fire from hardline Republicans and progressive Democrats.


“The deal is not done, so there’s still a level of risk, but the basic agreement has seen risks recede and both sides have committed to avoiding a technical default,” said Maki Sawada, a strategist at Nomura Securities.

“The Nikkei crossed the psychological 31,500 mark on Monday, but in the end that level proved a bit too heavy,” she said. “This week, I expect the Nikkei to steadily advance, but with short-term retracements to check its speed.”

The broader Topix rose as high as 2,175.13, but failed to get close to last week’s 33-year high at 2,188.66. It entered the break up 0.96 per cent at 2,166.41.

The Nikkei’s higher weightage towards exporter stocks saw it reap greater gains from the yen’s drop to the cusp of 141 per dollar for the first time in six months. A weaker currency buoys the value of overseas revenue.

Honda Motor rallied 1.86 per cent and Subaru advanced 1.78 per cent.

The Nikkei’s joint top performer was Advantest, the chip-testing equipment maker that counts Nvidia Corp among its clients.

Advantest shares surged up to 6.9 per cent to a record high, although they entered the break up 4.18 per cent , tied with Nikon and startup investor SoftBank Group.



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