Tokyo stocks gain on ebbing Syria fears

Tokyo stocks gain on ebbing Syria fears

Japan: Tokyo stocks rose moderately Friday, following rallies in New York on receding fears that the US would lead military strikes in response to an alleged chemical weapons attack in Syria.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index gained 0.55 percent or 118.46 points to 21,778.74, marking a weekly increase of 0.98 percent.

The broader Topix index was up 0.63 percent or 10.84 points at 1,729.36. Over the week, it rose 0.59 percent.

US President Donald Trump put off a final decision on strikes against Syria following a crunch meeting with national security advisors Thursday, his spokeswoman said.

The move sent US shares up with the Dow closing 1.2 percent higher.

“As President Trump suggested there’s no need to hurry in a decision of a strike against Syria, geopolitical risks have receded for now,” Okasan Online Securities said in a commentary.

Trump also said Thursday he had directed senior aides to explore rejoining the Trans-Pacific Partnership if a “better deal” could be reached.

Washington withdrew from the deal last year, and the administration’s most hawkish trade advisors favour negotiating bilateral trade agreements.

The dollar fetched 107.45 yen in Asian afternoon trade, against 107.26 yen in New York late Thursday.

In Tokyo, Panasonic jumped 2.52 percent to 1,561 yen and Sony rose 0.86 percent to 5,245 yen.

Toyota was up 0.53 percent at 6,910 yen but its subsidiary Hino Motors was down 3.66 percent at 1,368 yen after it announced a business tie-up with Volkswagen in commercial vehicles.

Fast Retailing edged down 0.06 percent to 46,870 yen after the Uniqlo casual wear operator revised up its full-year earnings forecast.