Nikkei rises to 2-week high as Yellen maintains outlook on U.S. rates

miércoles 15 de julio de 2015 22:34 GYT
 

* Toshiba falls after sources say it faces up to $3 bln in
charges over accounting scandal
    * Some investors stay cautious due to mixed Chinese shares -
traders

    By Ayai Tomisawa
    TOKYO, July 16 (Reuters) - Nikkei shares rose to a two-week
high in early trade in Tokyo on Thursday as overnight comments
on U.S. interest rates from Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen
reinforced expectations that the U.S. economy is on track and
steadily improving.
    Also helping the mood was news that Greek parliament had
approved a bailout plan. 
    The Nikkei share average rose 0.5 percent to
20,556.87 in midmorning trade after climbing to 20,592.75, the
highest since July 2. 
    Yellen said she expects the U.S. economy to grow steadily
for the rest of the year, allowing the Fed to raise interest
rates, but gave no direct hint on the timing or pace of a hike.
 
    "Yellen's comment gave no major news and did not change the
widely perceived view that the Fed will likely raise rates
sometime this year," said Takuya Takahashi, a strategist at
Daiwa Securities. 
    "If the rates are increased in small increments while U.S.
fundamentals are improving, the stock market should take it as a
positive thing, and that's what the market is expecting."
    Index-heavy stocks Fast Retailing Co gained 1.7
percent while KDDI Corp climbed 1.9 percent.
    While the overall stock market gained as the dollar rose 0.1
percent to 123.88 yen, shares of major exporters were
mixed due to lacklustre interest from retail investors, who tend
to scoop up stocks when they are cheap and not when the market
is strong, traders said.
    Traders added that the Chinese market's mixed performances
have also kept some investors on their toes.
    Toyota Motor Corp rose 1.7 percent, but Honda Motor
Co dropped 0.6 percent and Panasonic Corp shed
1.7 percent.
    Underperforming the market was Toshiba Corp, down
more than 2 percent after sources said it expects 300-400
billion yen ($2.4-3.2 billion) in charges related to improper
accounting in an expanding probe. 
    The broader Topix gained 0.4 percent to 1,653.44 and
the JPX-Nikkei Index 400 added 0.4 percent to
14,936.02.

 (Editing by Ryan Woo)