Tokyo stocks close higher with eyes on Fed's Yellen

 11 Jul 2017 - 10:53

Tokyo stocks close higher with eyes on Fed's Yellen
File Photo: AFP.

AFP

Tokyo: Japanese stocks ended higher Tuesday as investors waited for fresh clues on the global economy and US central bank policy with Federal Reserve boss Janet Yellen's testimony later in the week in focus.

The top US central banker on Wednesday will update lawmakers on the outlook for the economy and her expectations for additional interest rate increases in a twice-annual appearance before Congress.

Dealers remain upbeat after surprisingly strong US jobs data Friday that analysts said has put the Federal Reserve on course for at least one more hike this year, boosting the dollar.

Investors are also eyeing the start of the US corporate earnings season.

"As investors in global markets are seen taking to the sidelines awaiting fresh clues, there is no clear direction" in Tokyo trading, Toshihiko Matsuno, senior strategist at SMBC Friend Securities, told Bloomberg News.

The dollar strengthened to 114.42 yen, up from 114.14 yen in New York. A weaker yen inflates the profitability of Japan's exporters.

Tokyo's benchmark Nikkei 225 index gained 0.57 percent, or 114.50 points, to 20,195.48, while the Topix index of all first-section issues advanced 0.72 percent, or 11.66 points, to 1,627.14.

Gains were led by blue-chip exporters, with Toyota advancing 1.22 percent to 6,263 yen and its smaller rival Nissan edging up 0.21 percent to 1,154.5 yen.

Panasonic rose 1.97 percent to 1,521 yen and Sony tacked on 2.60 percent to 4,439 yen.

But Uniqlo casual fashion brand operator and market heavyweight Fast Retailing closed down 1.10 percent at 36,770 yen.

Toshiba fell 1.83 percent to 250.9 yen after the Nikkei business daily said the troubled conglomerate will be removed from Tokyo's benchmark index on August 1.

The firm will be demoted to the second section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange on that day after saying it will miss another deadline to release long-delayed earnings.

Seiko Epson, which will replace Toshiba on the Nikkei 225, jumped 3.70 percent to 2,660 yen.