TOKYO, Nov 24 (Reuters) – Japan’s Nikkei stock average hit its highest level in more than two months on Thursday, after Wall Street gained overnight on hopes of a slower pace interest rate hikes by the US Federal Reserve.
As of 02:16 GMT, the Nikkei index had climbed 1.2% to 28,450.31, after hitting 28,502.29, its highest since September 13. The broader Topix had gained 1.3% to 2,020.76. Major Wall Street indexes ended overnight with solid gains after minutes from the Fed’s November meeting showed interest rate hikes may soon slow.
“The Fed was expected to slow its pace of rate hikes, which bolstered sentiment. And global investors also targeted Japanese stocks,” said Chihiro Ohta, deputy managing director of investment research. and investor services at SMBC Nikko Securities.
Reading the Nov. 1-2 meeting, in which the Fed raised its key rate by 75 basis points for the fourth straight time in an effort to tackle decades-high inflation, showed that Officials were largely content to be able to stop preloading the rate increases and move in smaller steps.
In Japan, chip-related heavyweights gave the biggest boost to the Nikkei, with Tokyo Electron and Advantest climbing 3.44% and 4.0% respectively.
Manufacturer of air conditioners Daikin Industries 2.23%.
Cyber Agent, which broadcasts World Cup football matches for free on the internet, jumped 7.44% after Japan pulled off a superb 2-1 upset against four-time champions Germany in their World Cup Group E opener on Wednesday.
Shionogi & Co rose 5.9% in early trade after Japan announced on Friday that it would grant emergency approval for the drugmaker’s COVID-19 drug. It was up 1.67% last seen.
Shipping companies jumped 5.4%, leading the gains among the Tokyo Stock Exchange’s 33 industrial sub-indexes.
Nippon Yusen jumped 6.62% and Mitsui OSK Lines Ltd advanced 4.16%. (Reporting by Junko Fujita; Editing by Rashmi Aich)