Japan's Nikkei reclaims 30,000-mark as economic optimism swells

  • Reuters
  • Stock Market News
Japan's Nikkei reclaims 30,000-mark as economic optimism swells
Credit: © Reuters.

By Junko Fujita and Stanley White

TOKYO, Feb 25 (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei index closed above the 30,000-mark on Thursday after Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell views signalled that interest rates will remain low for an extended period.

The Nikkei share average .N225 ended up 1.67% at 30,168.27. The broader Topix .TOPX rose 1.22% to 1,926.23.

Powell told lawmakers on Wednesday it may take more than three years to reach the central bank's inflation goals, a sign the Fed plans leave interest rates unchanged for a long time to come. Wall Street, all three main indexes ended higher, on track to post strong monthly gains, with the Dow and the S&P 500 set for their best month since November. .N

"Powell's comments have given a big impact on the Japanese stock market as well," said Takatoshi Itoshima, strategist at Pictet Asset Management.

"And we can say even if the market falls one day, it can rebound easily the next day. That's how strong the fundamental is."

Fast Retailing 9983.T , the operator of Uniqlo brand clothing stores, rose 1.78%, making it the biggest contributor to the Nikkei's gain. SoftBank Group 9984.T , up 0.28%, was the second-biggest contributor.

Chip-related shares jumped, with Tokyo Electron 8035.T rising 1.49% and Fanuc 6954.T adding 5.65%. TDK 6762.T gained 2.36%.

Suzuki Motor 7269.T weighed on the index by falling 3.3% after the automaker's 91-year old chairman, Osamu Suzuki, announced his retirement. announcement came less than a week after rival Honda Motor 7267.T appointed a new CEO. Honda shares rose 1.24%.

The largest percentage gainers in the index were Mitsui E&S Holdings Co Ltd 7003.T up 7.83%, followed by Nikon Corp 7731.T gaining 7.04%.

There were 188 advancers on the Nikkei index against 32 decliners.

The volume of shares traded on the Tokyo Stock Exchange's main board .TOPX was 1.25 billion, compared to the average of 1.32 billion in the past 30 days.

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