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Japan's Nikkei Reclaims 30K-Mark as Economic Optimism Swells

Japan’s Nikkei index closed above the 30,000-mark on Thursday after Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell views signalled that interest rates will remain low for an extended period.

The Nikkei share average ended up 1.67% at 30,168.27. The broader Topix rose 1.22% to 1,926.23.

Powell told lawmakers on Wednesday it may take more than three years to reach the central bank’s inflation goals, a sign the Fed plans leave interest rates unchanged for a long time to come.

On Wall Street, all three main indexes ended higher, on track to post strong monthly gains, with the Dow and the S&P 500 set for their best month since November.

“Powell’s comments have given a big impact on the Japanese stock market as well,” said Takatoshi Itoshima, strategist at Pictet Asset Management.

“And we can say even if the market falls one day, it can rebound easily the next day. That’s how strong the fundamental is.”

Fast Retailing, the operator of Uniqlo brand clothing stores, rose 1.78%, making it the biggest contributor to the Nikkei’s gain. SoftBank Group, up 0.28%, was the second-biggest contributor.

Chip-related shares jumped, with Tokyo Electron rising 1.49% and Fanuc adding 5.65%. TDK gained 2.36%.

Suzuki Motor weighed on the index by falling 3.3% after the automaker’s 91-year old chairman, Osamu Suzuki, announced his retirement.

His announcement came less than a week after rival Honda Motor appointed a new CEO. Honda shares rose 1.24%.

The largest percentage gainers in the index were Mitsui E&S Holdings Co Ltd up 7.83%, followed by Nikon Corp gaining 7.04%.

There were 188 advancers on the Nikkei index against 32 decliners.

The volume of shares traded on the Tokyo Stock Exchange’s main board was 1.25 billion, compared to the average of 1.32 billion in the past 30 days.

(Reporting by Stanley White; editing by Uttaresh.V)

Source: Reuters

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