TOKYO, Dec. 19 (Xinhua) -- Tokyo stocks surged Thursday with the benchmark Nikkei stock index gaining 1.7 percent as the yen dipped to a five-year low against the U.S. dollar following the U. S. Federal Reserve's decision to taper its bond-buying program.
Local traders said that investor appetite here increased following growing global market confidence as New York stocks pushed higher overnight on the Fed's decision, with brokers saying that the move reflects a sense among economists and market players that the economic recovery is relatively strong.
They added that buying was also spurred from the start of trading Thursday by the pace of the Fed's decision to unwind its current stimulus program from 75 billion U.S. dollars per month to 85 billion U.S. dollar per month, noting that the move wasn't overly drastic and would only be impaired by worse-than-expected macroeconomic data coming in soon, which isn't expected.
The Fed's move marks an unprecedented move by the central bank to unwind a stimulus measure originally enacted to bolster the world's largest economy on a scale not seen since the Great Depression and the collapse of Wall Street in the 1930s.
Senior strategist Masaru Hamasaki, from Sumitomo Mitsui Asset Management Co., noted that the market had been given a sense of comfort based on the Fed's decision and this was an indicator of a sustainable economic recovery.
Investors were also heartened by the fact that Fed said it would continue to maintain its ultra-low short-term interest rates at almost zero regardless of whether the employment rate in the U. S. dips below 6.5 percent and that the central bank paid great attention to financial markets in making the move, market players here also said.
The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average gained 271.42 points from Wednesday to close at a six-year high at 15,859.22, while the broader Topix index of all First Section issues on the Tokyo Stock Exchange added 12.58 points, or 1.01 percent, to finish at 1,263. 07.
Most issues across all 33 sectors advanced Thursday, with property developers, mining companies and insurance firms finding traction, with brokers here noting that the market's export- related issues got a major boost from the dollar being pushed up past the 104 yen mark.
Exporters rely on a weaker yen to ensure that overseas profit yields grow when the funds are repatriated.
Subsequently, Nintendo jumped 5 percent to 13,680 yen, marking the game console and software maker's biggest gain in more than a month, while consumer electronics maker Panasonic added 2.5 percent to finish at 1,213 yen.
Sony Corp. meanwhile also found favour, with the maker of Bravia TVs and Vaio laptop computers gaining 2.3 percent to close the day at 1,820 yen.
Among Japan's automaker issues, Honda Motor jumped 1.1 percent to 4,260 yen, while Mazda Motor increased 1.9 percent to finish at 491 yen.
Urban developer Tokyo Tatemono, who raised its operating-profit outlook yesterday by 29 percent to 27 billion yen, however, was the biggest winner on the Nikkei Thursday, surging 6.7 percent to close at 1,130 yen at the 3 p.m. bell.
Trading volume on Thursday rose to 2.86 billion shares on the Tokyo Exchange's First Section, up from Wednesday's volume of 2. 52 billion shares, with advancing issues outnumbering declining ones by 894 to 692.