Tokyo’s Nikkei Up 1.72% as US Counts Votes

Tokyo, Nov 4 (AFP/APP): Tokyo’s key Nikkei 225 index rallied Wednesday as observers watched for clues about the outcome of the US presidential election.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index was up 1.72 percent, or 399.75 points, at 23,695.23, while the broader Topix index gained 1.20 percent, or 19.30 points, to 1,627.25. The closing figures were little changed from the start of the session, with the opening bell coming just as the first major US states closed their polls. By the end of the trading day there was little clarity on the winner of the vote, though the race was much closer than had been suggested by polls that gave challenger and former vice president Joe Biden a strong lead over Donald Trump.

“There was also this mood in the morning that Biden could win swiftly”, Masayuki Kubota, chief strategist at Rakuten Securities, told AFP. “But in the afternoon, his win became unclear and the battle was becoming tighter based on media reports.”

“Biden’s victory should be positive for the market because it will mean an additional stimulus”, Makoto Sengoku, a market analyst at Tokai Tokyo Research Insitute, told AFP. “But we just cannot tell exactly what will happen.”

With the Tokyo Stock Exchange operating while US and European markets are closed, it often serves as a bellwether of sorts for global markets following major events. In Tokyo trading, Sony climbed 1.53 percent to 8,903 yen while Uniqlo casual wear operator Fast Retailing jumped 2.46 percent to 74,380 yen. SoftBank Group dropped 2.40 percent to 6,535 yen while Nintendo lost 1.58 percent to 56,680 yen. The game giant will release its financial results on Thursday. Toyota advanced 0.38 percent to 6,976 yen while its rival Honda grew 1.08 percent to 2,552 yen.

The dollar stood at 104.93 yen, against 104.52 in New York Tuesday.

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