TOKYO: – Tokyo stocks jumped 2.39 percent Friday following sharp gains on Wall Street while the dollar’s strength also provided support.
The Nikkei 225 index at the Tokyo Stock Exchange climbed 411.35 points to 17,621.40, while the Topix index of all first-section shares rose 2.42 percent, or 33.29 points, to 1,409.61.
Tokyo tracked a positive lead from Wall Street where the Dow soared 2.43 percent and the S&P 500 shot up 2.40 percent.
“Worries certainly remain — including those over weak oil prices and Russia’s economy,” Tatsunori Kawai, chief strategist at kabu.com Securities told Dow Jones Newswires.
“But the benefits of weak oil for developed economies outweigh the risks for developing and oil-dependent nations, and the net global effect is likely to be very good.”
The dollar has firmed since Wednesday when US Federal Reserve said it would be “patient in beginning to normalise the stance of monetary policy”.
The announcement did not accelerate the timing to raise interest rates but nonetheless signalled a steady move in that direction.
The greenback rose to 119.36 yen from 118.81 yen in New York.
Japanese policymakers did not take any fresh monetary easing measures during their two-day meeting, which ended Friday, after inflating the bank’s asset-buying scheme in October.
A weak yen is a positive for Japanese exporters as it makes them more competitive abroad and inflates profits when they are repatriated.
Toyota jumped 4.30 percent to 7,562 yen and Uniqlo clothing chain operator Fast Retailing gained 2.32 percent to 44,730 yen.
Sony fell 1.29 percent to 2,446.5 yen as it defended its decision to cancel the release of “The Interview”, a movie about a fictional CIA plot to kill Kim Jong-Un, in the wake of a hack attack and threats of attacks on cinemas that show it.
The White House called the cyber-attack on Sony Pictures a serious national security matter, and threatened an “appropriate response” as others pointed the finger at Pyongyang.
Takata rose 0.52 percent to 1,330 yen after the embattled auto parts maker issued an open letter in major newspapers pledging to step up its response to an air-bag defect crisis that has been linked to at least five deaths in the US and Malaysia.