Japanese market gains on solid offshore lead

The Japanese stock market ended the session higher on Wednesday, May 18, 2022, as appetite for risky assets improved following Wall Street’s positive advance overnight, as well as positive comments from the US Fed Chairman Jerome Powell on the strength of the economy and news of the lifting of lockdown restrictions in China.

At the close, the 225-number Nikkei Stock Average was up 251.45 points, or 0.94%, at 26,911.20.

The broader Topix index of all First Section issues on the Tokyo Stock Exchange gained 17.98 points, or 0.96%, to 1,884.69.

Fed Chairman Jerome Powell said he was confident the central bank could raise rates and tackle inflation without sending the economy into recession. He added that the economy is strong and well positioned to withstand less accommodative monetary policy.

Expectations of a pick-up in demand in China also boosted market sentiment after Shanghai pledged to gradually ease its COVID-19 lockdown restrictions in stages in June.

Chip-making equipment maker Tokyo Electron gave the Nikkei the biggest boost, up 2.86%, followed by information technology services provider NTT Data, which jumped 4. 35%, and photo and audio equipment maker Sony Group, which gained 2.95%.

Renesas Electronics rose 3.7% after the chipmaker said it would invest 90 billion yen in a closed factory to produce semiconductors.

Soy sauce maker Kikkoman fell 3.3% and was the biggest drag on the Nikkei, followed by clothing store owner Uniqlo Fast Retailing, which fell 0.33%.

CURRENCY NEWS: The Japanese yen was trading at 129.16 to the dollar, after holding above the 129 level against the greenback for much of the week so far.

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(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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