Nikkei rises on strong U.S. growth data; exporters enjoy weak yen

martes 23 de diciembre de 2014 21:55 GYT
 

* Nikkei advances on back of record day on Wall Street
    * GDP figures emphasise rosy U.S. prospects
    * Exporters shares enjoy weaker yen

    By Thomas Wilson
    TOKYO, Dec 24(Reuters) - Japanese stocks rallied on
Wednesday after Wall Street raced to a record closing-high on
the back of data showing decisive  strength in the U.S. economy,
which lifted risk appetite and backed last week's upbeat
assessment by the Federal Reserve.
    The Nikkei benchmark added 1.1 percent to 17,835.45
by 0125 GMT, its highest since Dec. 9. Japanese markets were
closed on Tuesday for a public holiday. The average is set for
its fifth consecutive day of gains. 
    On Wall Street the Dow closed above 18,000 for the
first time ever on Tuesday, and the S&P 500 also hit a
record high, after the U.S. economy grew at an annualised 5.0
percent in the third quarter, its best in 11 years and well
above the 3.9 percent reported last month. 
    Fuelled by consumer and business spending, the figures
emphasise the divergence between the U.S. economy and the rest
of the world, where growth is either modest or scarce, and
brought a measure of calm to investors buffeted by global
turbulence in the past two weeks.
    The GDP data also gave credence to last week's upbeat
economic assessment by the Fed, which also promised to be
patient in moving towards tightening interest rates. 
    "America's strong economy is pushing the dollar up and the
yen down, and that's a big plus for Japanese exporters related
to the U.S.," said Hiroyuki Nakai, chief strategist at Tokai
Tokyo Research Center.
    The dollar broke through the 120 mark against the yen for
the first time in over a fortnight, creeping back towards a
7-1/2 year high and boosting Japanese exporters shares. 
    Automakers Toyota Motor Corp and Honda Motor Co Ltd
 advanced 1.7 percent and 1.9 percent respectively,
while Panasonic Corp jumped 1.5 percent.  
    Market heavyweights also performed well, with Uniqlo clothes
brand owner Fast Retailing surging 2.5 percent, roughly a
quarter of the Nikkei's overall gain.  
    The broader Topix gained 0.9 percent to 1,425.18,
while the JPX-Nikkei Index 400 advanced 0.8 percent
to 12,946.84.

 (Reporting by Thomas Wilson; Editing by Shri Navaratnam)