TOKYO, Sept. 29 (Xinhua) — Japan’s benchmark Nikkei stock index closed higher Thursday tracking overnight gains on Wall Street after the Bank of England (BOE) launched an emergency bond-buying program to counter sell-offs amid unstable financial markets.
The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average added 248.07 points, or 0.95 percent, from Wednesday to close the day at 26,422.05.
The broader Topix index, meanwhile, gained 13.65 points, or 0.74 percent, to finish at 1,868.80.
Local dealers said that investors bought back issues oversold in the previous session.
“The main driver for the Nikkei’s gain was an advance of Wall Street overnight, which was fueled by the Bank of England’s action,” Chihiro Ohta, assistant general manager at the investment research and investor services at SMBC Nikko Securities, was quoted as saying.
But market strategists said the move by the BOE may yield limited results as broader concerns continue over the health of the global economy amid the U.S. Federal Reserve and European central banks’ moves to combat soaring inflation by hiking their interest rates.
Higher interest rates mean increased borrowing costs for businesses and households, analysts here highlighted, and the fears of a global economic slowdown as a result are leading to increased volatility in currency and stock markets.
“But the rise was limited as the British central bank’s emergency move is unlikely to help contain turmoil in the financial markets,” Masahiro Yamaguchi, head of investment research at SMBC Trust Bank, was quoted as saying.
“The BOE’s move spread some relief in the financial markets, but it is difficult to say the crisis is over,” added Yamaguchi.
By the close of play, mining, pharmaceutical and land transportation issues comprised those that gained the most, and rising issues outpaced falling ones by 1,237 to 536 on the Prime Market, while 42 ended the day unchanged.
Nikkei heavyweight Fast Retailing, operator of the Uniqlo clothing chain, found favor and buoyed the broader market, jumping 2.2 percent, while drugmakers also found traction.
Following Eisai surging 13.6 percent after the successful trail of a new Alzheimer’s drug, Chugai Pharmaceutical leapt 4.3 percent, Daiichi Sankyo rose 2.3 percent and Shionogi & Co. closed 5.1 percent higher.
As Japan’s COVID-19 border controls are set to further ease next month, department store operators gained on hopes for increased tourism and patronage.
Of these, Takashimaya gained 3 percent, while Isetan Mitsukoshi Holdings jumped 4.5 percent by the close.
Crude oil futures rising overnight saw energy issues advance, with exploration behemoth Inpex closing up 2.5 percent.
But shipping firms weighed on the market as Kawasaki K.K sank 6.7 percent and Nippon Yusen plummeted 15.8 percent.
On the Prime Market on Thursday, 1,403.61 million shares changed hands, dropping from Wednesday’s volume of 1,554.74 million shares.
The turnover on the penultimate trading day of the week came to 3,245.50 billion yen (22.43 billion U.S. dollars).