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Japan's Nikkei Surpasses 35,000 For The First Time In Almost 34 Years

Japan's Nikkei Surpasses 35,000 For The First Time In Almost 34 Years
On Thursday, Japan's Nikkei share average reached its highest level since February 1990, as a cheaper yen boosted exporters and concerns about an anticipated Bank of Japan raise faded amid dismal wage data.
The Nikkei surged 1.77% on its third consecutive day of gains this week, closing at 35,049.86, its best level in nearly 34 years. The index was also on track for the greatest weekly rise since late March 2020.
The broader Topix index increased 1.57% to 2482.87.
The severe earthquake that struck western Japan last week and disappointing wage growth data are prompting market participants to "reappraise" when the Bank of Japan (BOJ) will normalise its monetary policy, said Tony Sycamore, a market analyst at IG.
Workers' real earnings fell for the 20th consecutive month in November, according to statistics released on Wednesday, defying officials' desire to see wage rises before tightening policy.
"That (wage data) gave the Nikkei the excuse to pop up there, towards that 35,000 level," said Sycamore, adding the index "probably can continue to make good gains while we try and work out when the BOJ can look to take its next step."
Following the data, the yen sank 0.9% against the US dollar overnight, staying at 145.52 during Asian trading hours.
A weaker yen tends to boost exporter shares, increasing the yen worth of overseas gains when companies repatriate them to Japan.
Japanese stocks benefited from strong Wall Street results, with megacaps rallying.
SMC Corp led Thursday's winners with a 4.69% gain, followed by Itochu Corp (8001.T) at 4.5% and telecoms company KDDI Corp at 4.21%.
Sony Group Corp gained 3.54% and Suzuki Motor Corp gained 3.86%, rounding out the top performers.
Yamato Holdings Co Ltd had the greatest percentage loss in the index, down 3.85%, followed by Rakuten Group Inc, which lost 2.44%, and Tokyo Gas Co Ltd, which lost 1.43%.

Christopher J. Mitchell

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