Tokyo stocks open higher after strong US jobs report

TOKYO: Tokyo stocks opened higher on a weaker yen on Monday, following solid gains on Wall Street after a strong US jobs report last week.

The data signalled the world’s top economy and one of Japan’s biggest trading partners was robust enough to withstand a small increase in key near-zero interest rates, analysts said.

“The majority of market participants should be expecting a December rate hike now that we’ve seen that the jobs data is good,” Shoji Hirakawa, chief equity strategist at Okasan Securities Co, told the agency.

“The focus now is on the pace of the rate hikes.” The benchmark Nikkei 225 index at the Tokyo Stock Exchange gained 1.06 percent, or 205.91 points, to 19,710.39 in opening deals, while the broader Topix index of all first-section shares rose 0.94 percent, or 14.74 points, to 1,588.76.

Tokyo investors are keenly awaiting a revision of Japanese gross domestic product growth on Tuesday.The initial GDP estimate last month showed Japan slipped into recession during the six months to September.

But the revised figures may instead show flat or modest growth in the world’s number-three economy during the July-September quarter, analysts said.

“A jump in capital spending suggests that output may have been flat last quarter instead of the initially reported 0.2 percent quarter-on-quarter decline,” research house Capital Economics said in a commentary.

US stocks jumped two percent on Friday after the Labor Department’s report showed a solid 211,000 jobs were created in November and the US unemployment rate held at 5.0 percent.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 2.12 percent, while the broad-based S&P 500 rose 2.05 percent and the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index gained 1.44 percent.



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