Tokyo’s Nikkei index closes at 26-year high

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TOKYO: Tokyo’s benchmark Nikkei index closed on Tuesday at its highest level since November 1991, with traders buoyed by an apparent easing of tensions on the Korean peninsula.

The bellwether index added 0.57 percent, or 135.46 points, to end at 23,849.99 while the broader Topix index was up 0.48 percent, or 8.95 points, at 1,889.29.

Japanese markets were playing catch-up after being closed Monday for a public holiday.

“With tailwind from US shares, investors were betting there is some more room for share prices to rise,” Yoshihiro Ito, chief strategist at Okasan Online Securities, said in a commentary.

The S&P 500 and Nasdaq both ended at record highs in New York.

Investors are keeping tabs on talks between North and South Korea, the first in more than two years that have fuelled hopes relations could be thawing.

Tensions were ratched up by last year’s nuclear and rocket tests by Pyongyang, which raised concerns of a possible nuclear conflict with the United States.

The dollar eased to 112.68 yen in Tokyo afternoon trade, from 113.12 yen in early exchanges as speculation swirled that the Bank of Japan may start winding in its super-loose monetary policy, traders said.

Among the gainers were market heavyweight and Uniqlo casualwear operator Fast Retailing, which added 1.17 percent to 47,390 yen, while game giant Nintendo put on 1.24 percent to 43,140 yen.

Sony gained 2.71 percent to 5,612 yen and Panasonic advanced 0.78 percent to 1,732.5 yen. —AFP