Tokyo’s Nikkei closes up 1.6pc | Money

The Nikkei 225 added 434.19 points to close at 27,490.13 while the broader Topix index rose 1.68 per cent, or 30.12 points, to 1,826.30. — AFP pic

TOKYO, Jan 7 — Tokyo’s benchmark Nikkei index rallied 1.60 per cent today after US shares surged, even as rioting supporters of outgoing President Donald Trump stormed the Capitol in Washington.

The Nikkei 225 added 434.19 points to close at 27,490.13 while the broader Topix index rose 1.68 per cent, or 30.12 points, to 1,826.30.

The Tokyo market was buoyant after Wall Street racked up healthy gains, in part on the expectation of fresh stimulus under a Democratic administration, with the Dow Jones index marking another record close, up 1.4 per cent.

“Hopes for new US stimulus measures sustained buying sentiment in Tokyo as well,” Toshikazu Horiuchi, a broker at IwaiCosmo Securities, told AFP.

Investors largely shrugged off unrest at the US Capitol as a mob forced its way into the legislative compound, prompting evacuations of lawmakers who were preparing to ceremonially validate the election victory of Joe Biden.

The incoming president faces a deeply divided nation, but should enjoy relative political stability as his Democratic Party gained control of both the presidency and Congress after double victories yesterday in key Senate runoff elections in the state of Georgia.

“Of course, the occupation of Congress by Trump supporters was unprecedented chaos. But they will be ousted in due time,” Okasan Online Securities said.

Market players were also monitoring developments in Japan as Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga prepared to declare a month-long state of emergency in greater Tokyo in a bid to contain surging coronavirus infections.

Suga is expected to target restaurants and bars, calling for them to close by 8 pm, as dining has been singled out as a risk factor in the capital.

He is also set to urge the public to refrain from unnecessary evening outings, but will allow major events and sports games as long as they limit spectator numbers. Schools are expected to stay open under the emergency order.

“The impact of the state of emergency on the market is limited today as it has already been factored in,” IwaiCosmo Securities broker Horiuchi said.

“Also, its impact on the economy appears smaller than that of the initial state of emergency, which was issued in spring,” he added.

The dollar stood at ¥103.17 (RM4.01) in Asian afternoon trade, up from ¥102.99 seen yesterday in New York.

Steelmakers were among the winners: Nippon Steel surged 7.82 per cent to ¥1,454.5 and JFE Holdings jumped 7.79 per cent to ¥1,093 on hopes for growing demand for steel products due to US stimulus measures.

Sony gained 1.06 per cent to 10,440 while Nintendo edged down 0.04 per cent to ¥64,750, with Toyota flat at ¥7,818. — AFP

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