Tokyo main stocks higher for seventh straight day

Tokyo main stocks higher for seventh straight day
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Tokyo: Tokyo stocks closed stronger Wednesday, with the main Nikkei index enjoying its seventh straight day of gains, as market sentiment was underpinned by renewed optimism over North American trade talks.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index gained 0.15 percent or 34.75 points to 22,848.22 while the broader Topix index rose by 0.46 percent or 7.97 points to 1,739.60.

“Worries over US acceleration of interest hikes and a trade war have eased, contributing to rises in stock prices” both in New York and Tokyo, Rakuten Securities chief strategist Masayuki Kubota said in a commentary.

US and Mexican trade officials struck a bargain on Monday, while the US Federal Reserve chief last week calmed investor nerves by signalling the central bank did not expect to accelerate interest rate increases.

But Kubota added: “As those worries have just eased, not gone, I don’t believe stock prices will continue to rise unchecked.”

On Wall Street, the S&P 500 and Nasdaq moved fractionally higher on Tuesday, posting their third straight record closes as investors grew increasingly bullish on North American trade talks.

US and Canadian trade officials will begin a crucial phase of talks on Wednesday to see if they can bridge their differences to sign a revamped North American Free Trade Agreement.

The dollar was at 111.16 yen compared with 111.25 yen in New York Tuesday afternoon.

Panasonic, which supplies batteries to Tesla, rose 0.47 percent to 1,363 yen although the electric carmaker continued its fall in New York after CEO Elon Musk’s decision last week to jettison plans to take the company private.

Banks were higher, with Mitsubishi UFJ Financial up 1.70 percent at 685.7 yen and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial up 1.27 percent at 4,457 yen.