Japan stocks track Wall Street higher, hit over 1-year peak on trade cheer

  • Reuters
  • Stock Market News
Japan stocks track Wall Street higher, hit over 1-year peak on trade cheer

By Stanley White

TOKYO, Dec 17 (Reuters) - Japanese stocks hit their highest level in more than a year on Tuesday, tracking a record closing high on Wall Street on renewed optimism over the U.S.-China trade deal.

At 0153 GMT, the Nikkei index .N225 rose 0.29 % to 24,022.95, with the healthcare and communications sectors leading the gains. Earlier in the session, the benchmark index reached its highest level since Oct. 4, 2018. It is up 20.03% so far this year.

U.S. National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow on Monday said a "phase one" deal was "absolutely completed" and reiterated comments made by U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer that U.S. exports to China will double in exchange for a reduction in U.S. tariffs. officials have been more cautious, emphasising that the trade dispute has not been completely settled.

Investors are betting that the trade deal, which is expected to be signed in the first week of January, will finally de-escalate a trade row that had dragged on for more than a year, making it the biggest risk to the global economic outlook.

The de-escalation of the trade war is also a positive for earnings of Japanese exporters.

There were 126 advancers on the Nikkei index, against 91 decliners on Tuesday.

The largest percentage gainers in the index were chemicals maker Tosoh Corp 4042.T up 5.21%, followed by oil producer Inpex Corp 1605.T gaining 3.24% and healthcare firm M3 Inc 2413.T up by 3.24%.

The largest percentage losers in the index were ad agency Dentsu Inc 4324.T down 4.47%, followed by video game maker Bandai Namco Holdings Inc 7832.T losing 2.19% and ship builder Mitsui E&S Holdings Co Ltd 7003.T down 1.8%.

The broader Topix index .TOPX rose 0.26% to 1,741.32, also reaching the highest since Oct. 10, 2018.

The volume of shares traded on the Tokyo Stock Exchange's main board .TOPX was 0.51 billion, compared to the average of 1.24 billion in the past 30 days.

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