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Updated March 1st, 2024 at 09:43 IST

Japan's Nikkei hits record high, led by tech, insurance sectors

The broader Topix also saw gains, rising by 1.14 per cent to 2706.18.

Reported by: Business Desk
Nikkei
Nikkei | Image:Shutterstock
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Nikkei hits record high: Japan's Nikkei share average on Friday hit record high as tech-related stocks mirrored the record-high performance of their US counterparts, while insurance companies saw gains following announcements of cross-shareholding sales by several firms.

The Nikkei reached 39,883.86, marking a 1.83 per cent increase by the midday break and surpassing the previous intraday high of 39,426.29 earlier in the week. 

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With this momentum, the index is on the verge of breaching the 40,000-point threshold, continuing its ascent since surpassing the lifetime high set during the December 1989 asset bubble.

The broader Topix also saw gains, rising by 1.14 per cent to 2706.18.

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Investor sentiment remained positive after the S&P 500 and Nasdaq closed at record levels, driven by technology stocks associated with artificial intelligence (AI). 

Moreover, US inflation data and remarks from Federal Reserve officials fueled speculation of a potential interest rate cut in June.

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In the morning session, tech-related shares contributed majorly to the Nikkei's 17 per cent surge this year. 

Tokyo Electron Ltd gained 4.64 per cent, while chip-testing equipment maker Advantest, with Nvidia among its clients, rose by 2.63 per cent. SoftBank Group, an investor in AI-focused startups, also climbed by 2.05 per cent.

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The insurance sector saw gains following announcements from non-life insurance companies regarding plans to sell cross-shareholdings in the coming years. 

Analysts view this move positively as it allows companies to enhance shareholder returns.

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Expectations are high for companies to continue boosting returns through similar measures, spurred by reform requests from the Tokyo Stock Exchange, which has been a key driver of the Nikkei's recent surge.

Among the Tokyo Stock Exchange's sectors, insurance led the gainers, rising by 2.51 per cent, followed by miners, which saw a 2.27 per cent increase.

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(With Reuters Inputs)

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Published March 1st, 2024 at 09:43 IST

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