TOKYO (Kyodo) — The Nikkei index ended at a one-month high Monday on receding concern about near-term U.S. monetary stimulus tapering ahead of the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy meeting as well as solid gains in U.S. stocks futures.
The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average ended up 213.07 points, or 0.74 percent, from Friday at 29,161.80. The broader Topix index of all First Section issues on the Tokyo Stock Exchange finished 5.73 points, or 0.29 percent, higher at 1,959.75.
Gainers were led by marine transportation, rubber product and metal product issues.
The U.S. dollar was steady in the upper 109 yen range, following a rise in long-term U.S. bond yields late last week, dealers said.
The Nikkei index was higher from the outset following rises on Wall Street late last week and it extended gains toward the end of the day on modest advances in U.S. stocks futures, while market players found few new cues from overseas markets, with some markets such as China and Australia closed for national holidays, brokers said.
Concerns over a possible pickup in U.S. inflation eased, despite the consumer price index, released Thursday, showing its fastest increase in nearly 13 years with a 5 percent rise that was larger than the 4.7 percent gain projected by economists, as market participants took the outcome as a temporary move.
“But investors were awaiting the Fed policy meeting for the latest information,” said Masahiro Ichikawa, chief market strategist at Sumitomo Mitsui DS Asset Management Co., adding that investors are looking to remarks by Chairman Jerome Powell after the two-day Federal Reserve policy meeting starting Tuesday for any clues regarding the schedule for a potential start of stimulus tapering.
On the First Section, advancing issues outnumbered decliners 1,109 to 972, while 113 ended unchanged.
Toshiba advanced 125 yen, or 2.7 percent, to 4,770 yen on expectations for an improvement in its governance, brokers said.
The head of Toshiba’s board said Monday the company’s attempts in cooperation with the government to fend off foreign activist investors ahead of a general shareholders’ meeting last year, as shown by a probe conducted by lawyers, were problematic in terms of compliance and governance, and the priority should be to “rebuild” Toshiba’s board.
Shipping firms continued to rally on hopes for a business uptick as the global economy recovers from the coronavirus fallout.
Nippon Yusen climbed 120 yen, or 2.3 percent, to 5,350 yen, Mitsui O.S.K. Lines rose 50 yen, or 1.0 percent, to 4,980 yen and Kawasaki Kisen grew 60 yen, or 1.8 percent, to 3,485 yen.
Trading volume on the main section dropped to 854.23 million shares from Friday’s 1,221.15 million shares.