Tokyo stocks close up on Fed chief's dovish signal

Tokyo stocks rose on Thursday, extending US rallies on growing expectations of a rate cut, while Nintendo surged after the game giant unveiled a scaled back, cheaper version of its Switch console.


File photo: AFP

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index gained 0.51 percent, or 110.05 points, to close at 21,643.53, while the broader Topix Index was up 0.47 percent, or 7.31 points, at 1,578.63.

"The Japanese market took over a positive lead from New York, where investors welcomed dovish testimony from Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell" that offered the prospect of looser monetary policy, said Toshikazu Horiuchi, a broker at IwaiCosmo Securities.

"The dovish remarks prompted a strong yen against the dollar but hopes for a US rate cut had a bigger impact," Horiuchi told AFP.

The dollar fell to 107.98 yen in Asian afternoon trade from 108.46 yen in New York the previous day.

"Investors are shifting their focus to individual shares as corporate earnings season is set to begin," he added.

In Tokyo, Nintendo jumped 4.15 percent to 41,660 yen after it announced the release of a new portable game console, the Nintendo Switch Lite.

The console will start selling in late September for $200, building on the huge popularity of the original Switch.

Market heavyweight and Uniqlo casual wear operator Fast Retailing closed up 1.15 percent to 67,650 yen. 

After the closing bell, it announced gains in both net profit and revenue for the nine months to May on a strong performance overseas, leaving its full-year forecast unchanged.

Chip-making equipment manufacturer Tokyo Electron rallied 1.55 percent to 16,660 yen with chip-testing equipment maker Advantest up 1.48 percent at 3,080 yen.

But automakers sank on a strong yen as Toyota lost 0.62 percent to 6,865 yen with Honda down 0.54 percent at 2,844 yen.