Tokyo Stocks Lead Asia Gains


Tokyo stocks lead Asia gains

HONG KONG, Jan 4, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 04th Jan, 2017 ) - Asian markets were mostly up Wednesday, with Tokyo leading the charge as it returned for the first day of trading after an extended new year break.

The gains follow a strong performance in global markets on Tuesday, as investors reacted to bright economic indicators pointing to further growth, particularly in the United States. The dollar's gain against the Yen also perked up sentiment in Tokyo, as a weaker Japanese Currency provided a boost for local exporters.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index at the Tokyo Stock Exchange ended up 2.51 percent for its highest finish in over a year, while the broader Topix index of all first-section issues added more than two percent.

Shanghai also closed slightly up, led by railway companies following strong manufacturing data released the previous day, dealers said. Hong Kong was flat in afternoon trade, while Australian and South Korean shares closed flat.

Shares traded in London had reached a new high on Tuesday, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average in New York continued to push towards the 20,000 milestone. The Tokyo bourse finished 2016 at its highest year-end close in two decades, boosted by expectations for big government spending under US President-elect Donald Trump to further power the world's biggest economy.

But experts also called for caution, as Trump's politics and policies remain uncertain at best. "Markets have been rallying quite strongly on this notion of fiscal hope but, as we move into the reality of 2017 and what a Trump presidency will actually look like, there is some risk of fiscal disappointment," Paul Eitelman, a strategist at Russell Investments, told Bloomberg Radio.

"Any disappointment at this point could be a source of downside risk for markets from here, so we're incrementally being a bit more cautious," he said. Meanwhile, oil prices rebounded on bargain buying following sharp falls overnight, but analysts said gains were tempered by a strong Dollar and doubts about the impact of an output cut by producers.

The lift in the US currency on the back of positive economic data made dollar-priced oil more expensive for holders of other units and dented demand. In individual shares, troubled Japanese autoparts maker Takata jumped more than 17 percent in Tokyo, as investors reacted to reports that it was close to settling a US criminal probe into an exploding airbag scandal.

- Key figures around 0730 GMT - =============================== Tokyo - Nikkei 225: UP 2.51 percent at 19,594.16 (close) Hong Kong - Hang Seng: DOWN 0.15 percent at 22,115.43 Shanghai - Composite: UP 0.73 percent at 3,158.79 (close) Dollar/yen: UP at 117.99 yen from 117.75 Euro/dollar: UP at $1.0417 from $1.0403 Pound/dollar: DOWN at $1.2269 from $1.2326 Oil - West Texas Intermediate: UP 19 cents at $52.49 per barrel Oil - Brent North Sea: UP 19 cents at $55.66 New York - Dow: UP 0.6 percent at 19,881.76 (close) London - FTSE 100: UP 0.5 percent at 7,177.89 (close)