Tokyo stocks end higher as yen buying on Trump fizzles

 01 Feb 2017 - 10:19

Tokyo stocks end higher as yen buying on Trump fizzles
Photo: AFP.

AFP

Tokyo: Tokyo shares closed higher Wednesday on bargain-hunting after two days of losses and as a rise in the value of the yen fizzled.

The Nikkei tumbled on Monday and Tuesday with investors around the world spooked by US President Donald Trump's flurry of executive orders that have fuelled worries about the outlook for the global economy.

Tokyo stocks got off to a weak start with the yen rising after Trump accused Japan and China of currency manipulation.

"You look at what China is doing and what Japan has done over the years, and they played the money market and the devaluation market and we sit there like a bunch of dummies," he said at a White House meeting with business executives.

The remarks sent the dollar falling to as low as 112.08 yen at one point in New York, from 113.44 yen earlier Tuesday in Asia. On Wednesday the greenback recovered to 113.32 yen by mid-afternoon.

Japanese authorities denied any currency manipulation on their part and said the goal of their financial policy is to pull the nation out of years of on-off deflation and kickstart the fragile economy.

"It is a risk factor to have Trump saying this-and-that against a weaker yen," said Tetsuo Seshimo, a portfolio manager at Saison Asset Management.

"But, weakening the currency through monetary easing hasn't been something specific to Japan. Others have been doing it including the US, so it's not like this remark will have material impact," he told Bloomberg News.

Wednesday's market also got some support from dealers picking up cheap stocks.

Tokyo's benchmark Nikkei 225 gained 0.56 percent, or 106.74 points, to 19,148.08, while the Topix index of all first-section issues was up 0.40 percent, or 6.10 points, at 1,527.77.

Toyota was down 0.57 percent at 6,546 yen and Nissan shed 0.62 percent to 1,112 yen.

Nintendo tumbled 2.14 percent to 22,625 yen while Canon fell 1.58 percent to 3,292 yen after saying its full-year profits shrank by almost a third last year on a slowdown in emerging markets and a stronger yen.

However, Mitsubishi Motors surged 12.39 percent to 689 yen after it announced Tuesday that it expects to swing back to an annual profit.