Japanese stocks jump on Fed growth outlook and rate promise
TOKYO, March 18 (Reuters) – Japanese stocks surged Thursday, following Wall Street records, after the US Federal Reserve forecast a rapid increase in economic growth and pledged to keep interest rates low.
The Nikkei Stock Average .N225 surged 1.53% to 30,372.88 at 0150 GMT, while the larger Topix .TOPX rose 1.16% to 2,007.05.
“Investors have many reasons to sell stocks at the end of the year at the end of March, but today their appetite for betting has far outweighed the selling pressure,” said Takatoshi Itoshima, strategist at Pictet Asset Management .
“The Fed has given investors confidence by sweeping aside uncertainties about the rate outlook by committing to keep its interest rate close to zero.”
The S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at record highs on Wednesday after the Fed said the U.S. economy was heading for its strongest growth in nearly 40 years, fueled by a massive federal fiscal stimulus and the deployment of COVID-19 vaccines. .NOT
In Japan, chip-related stocks rose, with Nikkei heavyweights Tokyo Electron 8035.T leaping 3.82%, Fanuc 6954.T gaining 3.02% and Advantest 6857.T up 4.54%.
Toyota engine 7203.T rose 2.82%, leading the Topix gain. Honda engine 7267.T up 0.55% and Nissan Motor 7201.T increased by 0.59%.
Airliners won, with ANA Holdings 9202.T and Japan Airlines 9201.T up 0.57% and 1.2%, respectively, as the Japanese government’s coronavirus countermeasures advisory group approved a plan to expire the state of emergency in the Tokyo area as expected on March 21.
There were 184 advancers on the Nikkei index versus 39 declines, with financials among the top gainers on the main stock exchange.
Daiichi sankyo 4568.T, up 3.4%, and Fanuc is growing the most among the Topix 30, while SoftBank Group 9984.T and Seven & i Holdings Co Ltd 3382.T were among the worst performers, losing 0.82% and 0.11% respectively.
(Reporting by Junko Fujita; Editing by Devika Syamnath)
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