Tokyo stocks extended their 5-week winning stretch, surging through the 19000 level for the first time outpacing many other world markets.
The Japanese benchmark Nikkei 225 stock average gained 1.4% to close at 19254.25 in Tokyo- the highest it has closed at since April 2000.
Another major Japanese index the Tokyo Stock Price Index commonly known as the Topix climbed 0.9% to 1,560 to cap its longest gaining streak, eight weeks, since February 2013. This also marked the highest close since December 2007.
Among the biggest gainers on the day was factory robot maker, Fanuc, which soared 13%. This gain was attributed to a report by the Nikkei newspaper that the company’s president Yoshiharu Inaba that the company was going to increase the amount paid back to its investors through dividends and buybacks.
“There’s still more demand than supply and stocks don’t seem extremely overvalued,” Ichiro Yamada, general manager of equities at Fukoku Mutual Life Insurance, told Bloomberg.
“Even though there are a lot of negative risks overseas, in the current environment Japanese stocks don’t seem to be very sensitive to them.”
The Topix index has recorded an 8.2% growth this year through Thursday. This exceeds gains by other major world benchmark markets. In comparison the S&P 500 Index has underperformed, barely breaking even in 2015.
The gains by Japanese stocks have seen an increase in foreigners investing in Japanese shares with overseas investors snapping up up to $17.7 billion in Japanese stocks and futures in the last month.
“This is the first time in a long time that the Topix has outperformed the S&P 500 in dollar terms,” said Richard Whittall, a fund manager at Alltus Capital (U.K.) in Singapore.
“That’s making foreigners think Japan is very interesting. Suddenly we have this amazing situation where there are no natural sellers in the market.”
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