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Tokyo’s Nikkei closes at highest level since 1991

Passersby wearing protective face masks are reflected on screen displaying the Japanese yen exchange rate against the U.S. dollar, other foreign currencies and world stock indexes outside a brokerage, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Tokyo, Japan November 6, 2020. (REUTERS)
Passersby wearing protective face masks are reflected on screen displaying the Japanese yen exchange rate against the U.S. dollar, other foreign currencies and world stock indexes outside a brokerage, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Tokyo, Japan November 6, 2020. (REUTERS)
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06 Nov 2020 03:11:10 GMT9
06 Nov 2020 03:11:10 GMT9

TOKYO: Tokyo’s key Nikkei index closed up Friday, hitting its highest level since 1991, despite continued uncertainty over the outcome of the US presidential election.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index gained 0.91 percent or 219.95 points to end at 24,325.23, the highest level since November 1991. Over the week, the index rallied 5.9 percent.

The broader Topix index closed up 0.52 percent or 8.55 points at 1,658.49. Over the week, the index climbed 5.0 percent.

Japanese indexes started in negative territory, adjusting recent gains and reacting to a stronger yen against the dollar.

“But investors later resumed bargain-hunting purchases on the backdrop of easing uncertainties over the US presidential election,” Okasan Online Securities said in a commentary.

US President Donald Trump erupted in a tirade of unsubstantiated claims that he is being cheated out of winning the US election as vote counting across battleground states showed Democrat Joe Biden closing in on victory.

But the outburst did little to move the market in Tokyo.

The dollar traded at 103.58 yen in Asian trade, against 103.55 yen in New York and 104.30 yen in Tokyo late Thursday.

In Tokyo, Toyota ended up 0.50 percent at 7,019 yen after it said it almost doubled its full-year forecasts, saying sales and production were recovering quickly from the coronavirus pandemic.

Its smaller rival Honda was up 2.51 percent at 2,589.5 yen before releasing earnings after the closing bell.

The automaker upgraded its full-year forecast, projecting net profit at 390 billion yen for the current year, compared with an earlier estimate of 165 billion yen.

Nintendo ended down 0.17 percent at 57,810 yen on profit taking after starting with gains following its announcement its first-half net profit soared 243.6 percent on-year while upgrading its full-year sales and profit forecasts.

Eisai rallied 3.70 percent to 10,240 yen, a day after the pharmaceutical firm surged 17.91 percent to the day’s cap on a US Food and Drug Administration report saying an experimental Alzheimer’s therapy it co-developed with Biogen appears effective.

Japan’s household spending dipped 10.2 percent in September on-year, according to the internal affairs ministry data released before the opening bell.

The figure was largely in line with market expectations of a 10.5 percent drop, as consumers refrained from spending, particularly on transportation and leisure activities.

AFP

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