Tokyo stocks open up 0.55%
TOKYO – Tokyo stocks gave up some early gains Thursday morning, but remained in positive territory after a court acquitted one of the most powerful figures in Japanese politics on charges he misused funds.
The Tokyo market initially rose 0.55 percent following a rally on Wall Street, largely sparked by Apple’s blockbuster earnings.
By the break, the Nikkei 225 index at the Tokyo Stock Exchange was up 0.11 percent, or 10.56 points, at 9,571.57.
The broader Topix index of all first-section issues added 0.30 percent, or 2.45 points, to 811.94.
The acquittal of political power broker Ichiro Ozawa, a staunch opponent of plans to double Japan’s consumption tax, threatened to weigh on the yen over worries about Japan’s huge public debt.
But stock markets and foreign exchange were little moved by the court ruling, said CLSA equity strategist Nicholas Smith.
“The verdict had been somewhat telegraphed ahead of time, as it didn’t look like there was enough evidence to convict,” he told Dow Jones Newswires.
“More interesting is what Ozawa will do from here, however. By default (Prime Minister Yoshihiko) Noda’s term in office may have just been shortened, and a sales tax hike may now be in danger of failing,” he added.
Apple’s shock profits report – net income in its second quarter nearly doubled from a year ago to $11.6 billion – gave its stock an 8.9 percent boost to drive the Nasdaq market up for a 2.3 percent gain.
The news helped drive the Dow Jones Industrial Average 0.69 percent higher to 13,090.72, with Boeing’s strong earnings also buoying markets.
The rise came as Federal Reserve chief Ben Bernanke said he would not hesitate to support the world’s biggest economy with further monetary easing, though the central bank left policy unchanged for the moment.
The Fed also slightly boosted its economic growth forecast.
Currency markets were subdued ahead of Friday’s Bank of Japan policy meeting amid hopes for further monetary easing.
The euro was mixed at $1.3226 and 107.42 yen in Tokyo morning trade, against at $1.3215 and to 107.49 yen in New York late Wednesday.
The dollar slipped to 81.17 yen, against $81.33 yen.
Originally posted at 08:49 am | Thursday, April 26, 2012
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