Nikkei touches new 15-year high as securities, large-cap shares shine

miércoles 22 de abril de 2015 22:05 GYT
 

* Securities firms Nomura and Daiwa rally
    * NTT Docomo hits 11-year high

    By Thomas Wilson
    TOKYO, Apr 23(Reuters) - Japanese stocks rose on Thursday as
investors sought to pick up stock seen as undervalued and
presenting positive earnings prospects, with the likes of Nomura
Holdings and large cap Japan Tobacco surging on strong demand. 
    The Nikkei benchmark climbed 0.3 percent to
20,190.22 after opening at a fresh 15-year high of 20,252.12.
    "Investors are expecting big gains from securities firms
ahead of earnings season," said Makoto Kikuchi, chief executive
of Myojo Asset Management.  "They look good value."
    Nomura Holdings rose 4.2 percent to their highest
in a year, and has jumped over 10 percent since Wednesday. 
Daiwa Securities Group climbed 2.9 percent.
    Large-cap Japan Tobacco Inc was Tokyo's biggest
gainer, climbing 4.8 percent.  The cigarette maker is the
Nikkei's sixth largest firm by market capitalisation. 
Elsewhere, NTT Docomo Inc rose 2.8 percent to hit an
11-year high. 
    The Tokyo Stock Exchange's securities brokerage subindex
 rose 3.4 percent to its highest since January last
year. Investors have snapped up banking, other
financial shares and insurers this week,
saying they look comparatively cheap.
    "The banks' underperformance in the last couple of years,
has left them egregiously undervalued," said Stefan Worrall,
director of cash equity sales at Credit Suisse, adding that
strong earnings announcements by U.S. banks may have drawn
attention to the Japanese banks.    
    Big-name exporters Panasonic Corp and Nissan Motor
Co Ltd were up 2.3 and 1.2 percent respectively,
boosted by the weaker yen.  The Japanese currency fell
through the 120 mark against the dollar for the first time in
nine days.
    The positive mood offset a private survey on Thursday
showing China's factory activity contracted at its fastest pace
in a year in April. 
    Japanese stocks have risen 15.8 percent this year, driven up
by expectations of higher shareholder returns and an influx of
money by public pension funds.  
     The broader Topix climbed 0.4 percent, touching a
fresh 7-1/2 year high of 1,633.81, while the JPX-Nikkei Index
400 also rose 0.5 percent to hit a record high of
14,825.53. 

 (Reporting by Thomas Wilson; Editing by Shri Navaratnam)