Tokyo shares close higher ahead of Fed speech

Tokyo, Aug 23 (AFP/APP):Tokyo shares closed higher on Friday, supported by gains in Chinese shares, while investors awaited a key address by the US Federal Reserve chair.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index gained 0.40 percent, or 82.90 points, to end at 20,710.91. Over the week, it climbed 1.43 percent.

The broader Topix index rose 0.28 percent, or 4.19 points, to 1,502.25. Over the week, it was up 1.14 percent.

However, many Tokyo investors were sitting on their hands before Fed chair Jerome Powell delivers a highly anticipated speech at the annual Jackson Hole conference of central bankers later in the day.

US President Donald Trump has been openly criticising Powell and demanding the Fed cut rates further to prop up the economy.

“Tokyo shares advanced steadily, helped by gains in Hong Kong and Shanghai shares,” Okasan Online Securities said in a commentary.

But it added that traders were in wait-and-see mode ahead of the Fed speech.
The dollar bought 106.62 yen in Asian trade, slightly higher from 106.42 yen in New York.

Among major shares, Sony added 0.88 percent to 5,903 yen, while Toyota climbed 0.14 percent to 6,916 yen.

SoftBank Group was down 0.14 percent to 4,738 yen and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group was up 0.37 percent at 502.4 yen.

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