Tokyo stocks leap 3 percent in early trade


09:45 AM January 4th, 2013

January 4th, 2013 09:45 AM

TOKYO–Tokyo stocks jumped more than three percent on Friday, the first day of 2013 trading, following global rallies on a US deal to avert a “fiscal cliff” of tax hikes and huge spending cuts.

The Nikkei 225 index at the Tokyo Stock Exchange, which ended 2012 at the highest level since the March 2011 quake and tsunami disaster, was up 3.02 percent, or 313.80 points, at 10,708.98 after the first few minutes of trading.

The benchmark index opened up 2.01 percent and quickly expanded the gains.

“Japan’s markets are opening relatively late after the US government acted, and thus they stand to benefit from the news as well as the enthusiastic response from other bourses,” said SMBC Nikko Securities general manager of equities Hiroichi Nishi.

Nishi also noted the yen’s drop against the dollar and euro, which is positive for Japanese exporters.

But he told Dow Jones Newswires that profit-taking by traders was likely to temper share prices.

Tokyo markets had been closed from the end of 2012 until Thursday for holidays.

The US House of Representatives late Tuesday passed a deal between the White House and Republicans to raise taxes on the rich and put off automatic $109 billion budget cuts for two months, lifting the clouds of immediate crisis.

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