• Tokyo stocks close at fresh 2-decade high


    TOKYO: Tokyo’s benchmark stock index hit another fresh 21-year high Monday, rising for the 10th consecutive session, buoyed by upbeat Japanese corporate earnings.

    The Nikkei 225 rose 0.47 percent, or 100.38 points, to close at 21,255.56, the highest level since November 1996.

    The broader Topix index advanced 0.62 percent, or 10.56 points, to 1,719.18.

    “Market sentiment remains solid,” said Toshikazu Horiuchi, a broker at IwaiCosmo Securities.

    “We are concerned about overheating, but strong Japanese corporate earnings are holding up the market.”

    Both brokerage firm Nihon M&A Center and IT company Nippon Systemware announced upward revisions to their second-quarter profits.

    Kobe Steel hit a five-year intraday low of 774 yen soon after the opening bell, with the stock losing a total of 40 percent of its value since the start of last week owing to a fake-data scandal.

    But later in the session, shares rebounded and closed at 827 yen, up 2.73 percent.

    The volatile trading came after the steelmaker said Friday that the snowballing scandal had affected around 500 customers, more than twice as many as initially thought.

    Hedge funds and other investors are buying the shares on hopes of a rebound, Fumio Matsumoto, a fund manager at Dalton Capital Japan, told Bloomberg News.

    He warned that “not all the bad news is exhausted until we know how earnings will be affected”.

    Financials followed the broader stock market higher, with brokerage Nomura Holdings gaining 1.48 percent to 658.1 yen and Mitsubishi UFJ rising 1.51 percent to 732.7 yen.

    SoftBank jumped 1.27 percent to 9,983 yen following a report that it had reached an accord to merge its US subsidiary Sprint with T-Mobile to create a rival to America’s top two wireless carriers. A SoftBank spokeswoman declined to comment.

    The dollar traded at 111.79 yen against 111.86 yen in New York late Friday.



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