Japan stock indices hit multi-decade peaks as global markets charge higher

A pedestrian walks past an electronics stock indicator at the window of a security company in Tokyo displaying the current rate of Tokyo Stock Exchange on Nov 9, 2017.
A pedestrian walks past an electronics stock indicator at the window of a security company in Tokyo displaying the current rate of Tokyo Stock Exchange on Nov 9, 2017.PHOTO: AFP

TOKYO (REUTERS) - Japan's Topix index rose to a 26-year high on Thursday (Nov 9), while the Nikkei share average broke the 23,000 level for the first time since January 1992 as financial and securities shares rallied.

The Topix was up 1.4 percent at 1,843.31 at the end of morning trade, after earlier rising as high as 1,844.05, its loftiest level since November 1991.

The Nikkei jumped 2 per cent to 23,368.16.

On Wall Street on Wednesday, all three major indexes closed at record highs, buoyed by rallying video game makers.

"The yen is a little weaker on the day but off recent lows, so we can say that today's gains and index milestones have more to do with overseas markets," said Ayako Sera, senior market economist at Sumitomo Mitsui Trust.

The dollar was up 0.2 per cent at 114.04 yen, off its eight-month high of 114.737 touched on Monday.

Financial and securities shares were among strong gainers, with the securities subindex up 2.8 per cent and the financials subindex up 2.4 per cent. The insurance subindex rose 2.3 per cent.

Pasona Group shares soared 12.4 per cent, after Oasis Management Company, Hong Kong-based fund, released its reform proposal for the Japanese personnel company's business strategy and governance structure, which it sent to Pasona's Board of Directors and management.

The fund said that if Pasona did not respond to constructive dialogue to fulfil its responsibility to shareholders, a managed bu bucked the trend, its shares falling 1 per cent after the automaker on Wednesday forecast an operating profit of 645 billion yen (S$7.71 billion) for the year to March, almost 6 per cent its prior 685 billion yen view and down 13 per cent from a year ago.

Japan Display was another exception, its shares skidding 9.5 per cent a day after the liquid crystal display maker reported a loss for the quarter through September.