Monday, March 27

Japanese shares end at over 2-month high on tech, auto boost

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TOKYO — Japanese shares closed at their highest in more than two months on Wednesday, as heavyweight technology stocks tracked US peers higher and automakers advanced on a weaker yen.

The Nikkei share average rose 3% to close at 28,040.16, while the broader Topix climbed 2.33% to 1,978.70. Both ended at their highest since Jan. 18 and posted a seventh straight session of gains, the longest winning streak since September 2021.

US stocks ended higher overnight, led by a 2% gain in the Nasdaq, as shares of technology and other big growth names rebounded from recent losses.

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“An end of the war between Russia and Ukraine is already factored into the market,” said Koichi Kurose, chief strategist, Resona Asset Management.

“Investors’ focus is now on which sectors would survive under inflationary risks and those that were seen surviving were rising.”

Heavyweights rose, with Uniqlo clothing shop owner Fast Retailing jumping 5.21%. Chip-making equipment maker Tokyo Electron rose 3.8% and technology investor SoftBank Group was the top performer on the Nikkei with a 7.22% surge.

Auto and parts makers added 3.37%, as the yen weakened further. Toyota Motor gained 3.99% and Honda Motor rose 2.89%.

Nomura Holdings rose 2.52% after the brokerage said it would book a profit from the sale of a portion of its stake in affiliate Nomura Research Institute. Shares of Nomura Research fell 4.95%.

Monex Group Inc surged 15.92% to its limit after being untraded with a glut of buy orders. The online broker said it planned to launch an initial public offering of Japanese cryptocurrency exchange Coincheck Inc. The stock was set to rise 16% to its limit.

(Reporting by Junko Fujita; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu and Uttaresh.V)