Nikkei 225 Watch: Breaking Above 14,000

on Aug 14, 2013
Listen Wednesday, August 14th: The Nikkei 225 today surged above 14,000 on the back of upbeat global economic data and a weaker yen. At 10.00 BST the Japanese benchmark was 183.16 points or 1.32 percent higher at 14,050.16.

The USD/JPY reached a one-week high of 98.30, sparking a rally in Japanese exporters which gain a competitive edge when the yen weakens. Heavyweights Softbank and Fast Retailing surged by 1.26 percent and 1.68 percent to ¥6,450.00 and ¥33,200.00, respectively. Glass maker Nippon Sheet Glass rose by 4.81 percent to ¥109.00.
Sentiment was positive in Asia today after the U.S. Commerce Department reported strong U.S. retail sales for July. The retail trade numbers were the first of a slew of U.S. data this week that could affect the markets. Analysts warn, however, that positive data also makes it more likely for the Fed to consider toning down its $85 billion-a-month stimulus programme. Atlanta Fed president Dennis Lockhart has said it was too early for detailed plans for a tapering but hasn’t ruled out the possibility of it starting next month.

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“Investors will likely take a wait-and-see approach until September when the U.S. Federal Open Market Committee meets and the Japanese government releases its growth strategies and makes decisions on sales and corporate taxes,” said Hideyuki Ishiguro, assistant manager of investment strategy at Okasan Securities, as quoted by the Wall Street Journal.

The Nikkei 225 has risen by about 33 percent this year, while the yen has dropped 13 percent against the dollar, largely due to the Japanese government’s aggressive monetary stimulus programme.
The Australian S&P/ASX 200 closed marginally lower at 5,157.40 but is still up by more than two percent so far this week. **Commonwealth Bank of Australia**, the country’s largest bank by market value, declined by 1.10 percent to AUD73.73 despite reporting an eight percent rise in full-year profit and lifting its dividend by nine percent to $2 per share. “Analysts and commentators alike had been calling for a final dividend of $2.12; considering CBA is priced to perfection, this slight disappointment considering the earnings figures may see a ‘sell the fact’ result,” IG market strategist Evan Lucas commented, as quoted by CNBC.

The South Korean KOSPI gained 10.88 points or 0.57 percent to 1,923.91 as Apple chip suppliers extended their Tuesday’s rally. **SK Hynix** added three percent to KRW 29,150.00, **LG Display** rose 1.04 percent to KRW 29,050.00 and **Samsung SDI** was up by 1.22 percent to KRW 165,500.00.
Trading in Hong Kong was cancelled today due to a typhoon, though stocks in mainland China continued to trade.
**The Nikkei 225 was 183.16 points or 1.32 percent higher at 14,050.16 as of 14.08.2013, 08.00 BST.**
**The KOSPI was 10.88 points or 0.57 percent higher at 1,923.91 as of 14.08.2013, 08.00 BST.**
**The S&P/ASX 200 was 0.30 points or 0.01 percent lower at 5,157.40 as of 14.08.2013, 08.00 BST.**


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