Nikkei tops 16,000, highest in six years

Japan’s Nikkei 225 Stock Average closed above 16,000 for the first time in six years as the yen’s fall to near a five-year low boosted earnings prospects for the nation’s exporters.

By Katrina Nicholas ?and Jim Powell (Bloomberg)

Published: Thu 26 Dec 2013, 10:05 PM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 7:51 AM

China’s benchmark money-market rates slid.

The Nikkei 225 climbed 0.8 per cent, adding to a 54 per cent rally this year, the most among major developed markets tracked by Bloomberg. Japan’s currency fell 0.2 per cent at 7:40am in London, weakening for a third day. The Shanghai Composite Index climbed the most in three weeks after China’s seven-day repurchase rate, a gauge of funding availability, slid for a second day after the central bank injected funds into the financial system. Russia’s Micex Index rose. Most global markets are closed for the holidays.

Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda told a business lobby group on Wednesday the nation’s economy is on a smooth recovery path this year. Japan released its economic report for December on Tuesday, dropping deflation from its view for the first time since 2009. US reports showed orders for durable goods and new-home sales rose more than forecast in November, underscoring economic confidence expressed by the Federal Reserve this month when it said it will begin reducing stimulus.

“The yen’s depreciation is due to a stronger US economy and the logic of buying into Japanese stocks is clear — a weaker yen is good for Japan’s export-oriented economy,” said Wang Weijun, a strategist at Zheshang Securities Co in Shanghai. “The funds injection by China’s central bank is pretty symbolic.”

The Nikkei 225 gained to 16,009.99, the highest close since December 11, 2007. Fast Retailing Co, Asia’s biggest apparel chain and the most heavily weighted stock in the Nikkei, jumped 4.7 per cent. The Topix index rose 0.1 per cent, erasing a loss of as much as 0.5 per cent. SoftBank Corp slid 0.5 per cent on a Nikkei newspaper report that it’s seeking to buy T-Mobile US Inc.

Japan’s core consumer price index is likely to slightly exceed one per cent by the end of this year, BoJ Governor Kuroda said in Tokyo. The central bank in April set a goal to reach two per cent inflation in about two years.

The yen, which has tumbled 17 per cent this year, the most among 10 developed-market currencies tracked by Bloomberg Correlation-Weighted Indexes, declined to 104.42 against the greenback. It slid to 104.64 per dollar on December 20, the weakest since October 2008, and on Wednesday fell 0.1 per cent to 142.77 per euro, near the five-year low of 142.90 reached last week.

The Shanghai Composite gained 0.6 per cent to 2,106.35, led by oil companies. PetroChina Co, the biggest energy producer, rose 0.7 per cent. The seven-day repo fell 86 basis points to 5.5788 per cent, according to a weighted average compiled by the National Interbank Funding Center.

Taiwan’s benchmark index climbed 0.2 per cent. Thailand’s SET Index gained 0.4 per cent. The baht slid for a seventh day, losing 0.1 per cent to 32.725 per dollar.

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