Tokyo stocks at highest level since 2010
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TOKYO, Jan 30 AFP
January 30 2013, 6:13PM
Tokyo stocks have jumped 2.28 per cent to close at their highest level in nearly three years thanks to a weaker yen and receding concerns over Europe's debt crisis.
The benchmark Nikkei 225 index on Wednesday closed up 247.23 points at 11,113.95, its highest finish since April 2010, while the Topix index of all first-section shares rose 1.51 per cent, or 13.91 points, to 934.67.
"Europe's problems have eased quite a bit," said Hideyuki Ishiguro, senior strategist at investment at Okasan Securities.
He pointed to data on Tuesday showing net lending by Europe's central banks to credit institutions had fallen, the latest sign of easing tensions in the financial system.
The data showed the size of the balance sheet of the Eurosystem, consisting of the European Central Bank and the 17 eurozone national central banks, has fallen to its lowest in almost a year.
"The global economy is in a trend of improving. A shift to stocks from bonds is likely to happen," Ishiguro said.
The Tokyo market's rise also came after Japan's new government on Tuesday approved a $US1.02 trillion ($A979.69 billion) annual budget as part of its renewed assault on the deflation that has plagued the economy for years.
The Nikkei has been soaring in recent months as Tokyo's drive for aggressive monetary easing pushed down the value of the yen, lifting exporters.
Hopes that the government led by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will succeed in boosting the limp economy was helping drive the Nikkei's ascent, said Hiroichi Nishi, general manager of equity at SMBC Nikko Securities.
"Both domestic and external demand show signs of firming amid continuing expectations for 'Abenomics' and a recovery trend in the US economy," he told Dow Jones Newswires.
On Wall Street on Tuesday, the Dow provided a solid lead as it climbed to within just 1.5 per cent of its all-time closing high seen in October 2007.
In Tokyo, companies reporting quarterly earnings included Canon, which jumped 2.88 per cent to Y3,385, while mobile carrier NTT DoCoMo was up 0.97 per cent to Y134,900 and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group climbed 1.15 per cent to Y3,490.
Videogames giant Nintendo slipped 2.40 per cent to Y9,350 ahead of the release of earnings later in the day.
In Tokyo forex trade, the US dollar strengthened to Y90.93, from Y90.72 in New York late on Tuesday.
The euro fetched Y122.56 and $US1.3485 against Y122.42 and $US1.3493.