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Nikkei 225 gains as much as 3% on strong tech earnings, weak yen, Companies & Markets

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JAPANESE equities climbed, with the Nikkei 225 Stock Average advancing the most since November 2022, as tech shares led gains after Tokyo Electron boosted its full-year revenue and profit guidance.

The Nikkei climbed 2.9 per cent to 37,963.97 at the 3 pm close in Tokyo, putting it about 2 per cent away from a record close. The Topix rose 2.1 per cent to 2,612.03. 

Tokyo Electron contributed the most to the Topix’s gain, increasing 13 per cent to reach a record high after the chipmaking equipment manufacturer projected that operating income for the fiscal year to March will now be 445 billion yen (S$4 billion). SoftBank Group extended gains on an explosive rally of its Arm Holdings.

“If the Nikkei reaches an all-time high in the near term, that would be earlier than I thought,” said Masahiro Yamaguchi, a senior market analyst at SMBC Trust Bank. “While there’s a sense of caution over current levels, the rally in semiconductor-related stocks on the back of improved earnings and the AI narrative doesn’t feel out of place.”

Exporters were supported after the yen weakened 0.1 per cent to 149.52 to the dollar after touching the lowest since late November.  

Sector-wise, insurers such as MS&AD Insurance Group Holdings helped lift the Nikkei 225 after a report said the Financial Services Agency asked property-and-casualty insurers to accelerate their disposal of cross-shareholdings. BLOOMBERG

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