Tokyo’s Nikkei index closes above 20,000 after 15 years
Tokyo’s benchmark index closed above 20,000 on Wednesday for the first time in 15 years as hopes for strong Japanese corporate earnings overshadowed a weak lead from Wall Street. The Nikkei 225 index added 1.13 per cent, or 224.81 points, to finish at 20,133.90. It last closed above the psychologically important level in April 2000.
The broader Topix index of all first-section shares climbed 0.80 percent, or 12.91 points, to 1,621.79. The last time the Nikkei was at that level Sony’s groundbreaking PlayStation 2 was in stores, the Dot-com bubble was collapsing and Bill Clinton still occupied the White House.
Attention is now focusing on the start of Japanese earnings season with many firms set to report bumper fiscal-year profits.
“What’s behind (the Nikkei’s) rise is expectations for higher corporate earnings,” Toshihiko Matsuno, senior strategist at SMBC Friend Securities, said. “Where the market will go from here depends on how company earnings fare,” he added.