Nikkei rises to fresh 15-year high as Greece debt deal looks more likely

lunes 22 de junio de 2015 21:58 GYT

* Nikkei inch away to hit 18-year high
    * Banks higher on their attractive valuations - trader
    * Toshiba underperforms after report saying accounting
trouble spread to other ops

    By Ayai Tomisawa
    TOKYO, June 23 (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei share average rose
to a fresh 15-year high on Tuesday morning as hopes grew that a
deal would be reached to avoid Greece defaulting on loans,
lifting recently fallen stocks such as banks.
    The Nikkei share average was up 1.4 percent at
20,715.54 in midmorning trade after spiking earlier to
20,739.90, the highest since 2000. If it trades above its 2000
peak of 20,833.21, it will be the highest since June 1997.
    European shares soared overnight, expecting some progress on
Greece's debt crisis. European Council President Donald Tusk,
who chaired an emergency summit of leaders of the 19-nation
currency bloc, called the Greek proposals "a positive step
    He said the aim was to have the Eurogroup finance ministers
approve a cash-for-reform package on Wednesday evening and put
it to euro zone leaders for final endorsement on Thursday
    Buoyed by the move, investors are buying back Japanese
shares after the Japanese market posted a third weekly loss last
    "The majority of market participants are trading under the
optimistic scenario that the Greek problems will be resolved,"
said Masashi Oda, senior investment officer at Sumitomo Mitsui
Trust Bank. "Foreigners are buying again."
    He also said that foreign investors are especially buying
banks on bargain hunting due to the banks' attractive valuations
as they are trading below their book values. Mitsubishi UFJ
Financial Group rose 2.5 percent, Sumitomo Mitsui
Financial Group gained 2.1 percent and Mizuho Financial
Group jumped 4.6 percent.
    Exporters are also higher, with Toyota Motor Corp 
gaining 1.5 percent, Honda Motor Co adding 2.1 percent
and Tokyo Electron Led rising 3.4 percent.
    On the other hand, Toshiba Corp underperformed,
being flat after falling as low as 1.7 percent to a 3-1/2 week
low hit by a report saying its accounting problems extended to
the company's chip and PC businesses. 
    Toshiba has said inappropriate book-keeping likely led to
profits being overstated by about 54 billion yen ($438 million)
in recent years. 
    "Most active funds have cut back on the stock, but passive
funds still hold it. Unless the amount of damage balloons from
the already-announced level, share price impact may be limited,"
said Fumio Matsumoto, a fund manager at Dalton Capital Japan.
    The broader Topix rose 1.5 percent to 1,672.92, with
all of its 33 subsectors in positive territory.
    The JPX-Nikkei Index 400 advanced 1.5 percent to

 (Editing by Eric Meijer)