• Tokyo posts rally, longest since 1988

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    TOKYO: Tokyo’s benchmark index rose for a 10th straight session on Thursday, as a plunging yen drove it to the longest consecutive rally since the heady days of Japan’s stock market bubble more than a quarter of a century ago.

    In heavy trading, the Nikkei 225 at the Tokyo Stock Exchange added 0.39 percent, or 78.88 points, to finish at 20,551.46, marking the longest winning streak since a 13-day run in February 1988.

    The broader Topix index of all first-section shares climbed 0.69 percent, or 11.43 points, to 1,672.76

    The Nikkei—which is at its highest level since early 2000—hit a record close of almost 39,000 in the last days of 1989 before a stock and property market bubble collapsed. The index then began a long descent as the once red-hot Japanese economy fell into years of malaise.

    Last week, the Tokyo bourse’s total value surpassed its market capitalization at the end of the eighties.

    On Thursday, major Japanese exporters got a boost as the dollar surged, at one point touching 124.30 yen, its strongest level since late 2002. A weak yen inflates the value of firms’ repatriated overseas profits.

    Toyota, which earlier this month booked a record annual profit, jumped 1.66 percent to 8,637 yen, Sony added 0.22 percent to 3,837 yen, factory robotics giant Fanuc added 1.24 percent to 27,020 yen and Japan’s biggest lender Mitsubishi UFJ was up 2.31 percent to 917.3 yen.

    “It’s likely that the yen will continue to slowly weaken and we’ll have a global risk-on mode, stocks won’t rise too quickly but they’ll have a steady climb,” Mitsushige Akino, executive officer at Ichiyoshi Asset Management told Bloomberg News.

    “The US economy is OK and as (Fed chief Janet) Yellen said recently, the US is trying to raise rates.”

    ‘Take a breather’
    The dollar’s bull run has come on the back of growing expectations that the Federal Reserve will hike interest rates by the end of the year while Japan’s central bank is tipped to embark on more monetary easing to kickstart a sluggish ecAPFonomy.

    AFP

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