Nikkei closes up 2.82% on first trading day of 2013

Tokyo stocks closed up 2.82 percent on Friday, the first trading day of 2013, as the yen tumbled on relief over a US deal to avert the "fiscal cliff" of tax hikes and huge spending cuts.

The Nikkei 225 index on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, which ended 2012 at its highest level since the March 2011 quake and tsunami disaster, added 292.93 points to 10,688.11.

The Topix index of all first-section issues gained 3.34 percent or 28.71 points to 888.51.

"Japan's markets are opening relatively late after the US government acted, and thus they stand to benefit from the news as well as the enthusiastic response from other bourses," said Hiroichi Nishi, general manager of equities at SMBC Nikko Securities.

Global markets rallied after the US House of Representatives late Tuesday passed a deal between the White House and Republicans to raise taxes on the rich and put off automatic $109 billion budget cuts for two months.

The deal lifted the clouds of immediate crisis, sending the yen to its lowest level since July 2010 against the dollar.

The dollar rose to 87.73 yen in Tokyo afternoon trade, up from 87.19 yen in New York Thursday afternoon. The euro was at 114.35 yen and $1.3034 from 113.80 yen and $1.3052.

The market is watching the next moves by Congress and President Barack Obama.

CLSA equity strategist Nicholas Smith said: "Thereafter (the) focus will be on who Prime Minister (Shinzo) Abe wants to recommend as the new Bank of Japan governor."

Abe, who took office in December, has pressured the central bank to take aggressive easing steps to help drag Japan out of years of deflation and weak growth.

It has spawned speculation that he will want someone willing to agree to his inflation target to replace current governor Masaaki Shirakawa, whose five-year tenure ends on April 8.

An equity trading director at a foreign brokerage said: "Players await US jobs figures tonight. There is currently no reason to sell the market, and a good jobs report will fuel more buying."

Friday was also the first trading day for Japan Exchange Group, which brought together The Tokyo Stock Exchange and Osaka Securities Exchange.

"We will aim for Asia's number one exchange that is selected by investors from around the world," the group's chief executive Atsushi Saito said at in a ceremony at the Tokyo bourse.

Exporters were higher, with Toyota Motor up 6.36 percent at 4,260 yen and Nikon up 5.14 percent at 2,656 yen.

Among financials Nomura Holdings climbed 4.17 percent to 524 yen and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group rose 3.53 percent to 3,225 yen.

Embattled electronics firm Sharp fell 2.64 percent to 295 yen after a report during the New Year break that it was considering making a public share offering worth more than 100 billion yen this year.

-- Dow Jones Newswires contributed to this article --

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Market Data

  • Currencies
    Currencies
    NamePriceChange% Chg
    1.2588+0.0007+0.05%
    USDSGD=X
    1.7408+0.0006+0.03%
    EURSGD=X
    2.1153+0.0015+0.07%
    GBPSGD=X
    81.3100+0.0179+0.02%
    SGDJPY=X
    6.1596-0.0031-0.05%
    SGDHKD=X
    2.6018+0.0035+0.13%
    SGDMYR=X
    9,227.6299-28.3965-0.31%
    SGDIDR=X
    4.9691+0.0021+0.04%
    SGDCNY=X
    1.1674+0.0022+0.19%
    AUDSGD=X
  • Commodities
    Commodities
    NamePriceChange% Chg
    1,292.10+1.50+0.12%
    GCM14.CMX
    19.58-0.11-0.57%
    SIK14.CMX
    91.62-1.25-1.35%
    ^XAU
    3.120.00+0.03%
    HGK14.CMX
    101.91-0.03-0.03%
    CLM14.NYM
  • Bonds
    Bonds
    TreasuryYield (%)Yield Change
    1.74+0.03
    ^FVX
    2.690.00
    ^TNX
    3.460.00
    ^TYX

MARKET MOVERS

  • Most Actives
    Most Actives
    NamePriceChange% Chg
    2.23+0.020+0.90%
    JS8.SI
    1.175+0.025+2.17%
    U6C.SI
    0.122-0.001-0.81%
    B22.SI
    1.34-0.015-1.11%
    G13.SI
    1.21-0.005-0.41%
    S53.SI
  • % Gainers
    % Gainers
    NamePriceChange% Chg
    0.21+0.020+10.53%
    F86.SI
    0.116+0.010+9.43%
    O2I.SI
    0.165+0.013+8.55%
    5HH.SI
    1.315+0.084+6.82%
    O9A.SI
    0.73+0.060+8.96%
    5DP.SI
  • % Losers
    % Losers
    NamePriceChange% Chg
    0.142-0.012-7.79%
    5GD.SI
    0.29-0.010-3.33%
    O08.SI
    0.105+0.004+3.96%
    E9A.SI
    0.151-0.009-5.63%
    A03.SI
    0.30-0.015-4.76%
    K29.SI