Japan’s Nikkei share average soared to a more than one-month high on Wednesday morning as exporters got a boost after the dollar hit a six-month high against the yen.
The Nikkei surged 1.0 per cent to 22,919.59 in midmorning trade after rising to 22,949.32, its highest point since June 13.
The dollar was up 0.05 per cent at 112.97 yen after going as high as 113.08, its strongest since Jan. 9 as US Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell gave an upbeat outlook for the economy and reinforced views that the Fed was on track to steadily hike interest rates.
Toyota Motor Corp advanced 1.5 per cent, Mazda Motor Co surged 1.8 per cent, TDK Corp soared 3.2 per cent, Advantest Corp added 2.1 per cent and Panasonic Corp rose 1.5 per cent.
Drugmaker Shionogi & Co surged 1.9 per cent after Swiss drugmaker Roche’s late-stage study showed that its new flu drug worked for people at high risk for serious flu complications.
Roche has partnered with Shionogi to develop the single-dose drug, touting it as a more convenient alternative to Tamiflu’s twice-daily, five-day regimen, reports Reuters.
Meanwhile, the Nikkei benchmark index is set for an annual reshuffle in October and e-commerce business operator Start Today Co and Internet business operator CyberAgent Inc are seen as top picks to join, Daiwa Securities estimated. The stocks rose 2.1 per cent and 1.7 per cent, respectively.
Conversely, Daiwa said that brewer Takara Holdings and stadium and amusement park operator Tokyo Dome Corp are seen as likely candidates for removal, sending the stocks 2.0 per cent and 2.7 per cent lower, respectively.
Stocks added to the index benefit because managers of index-tracking funds must include them in their portfolios, while shares of companies that are dropped have to be sold.
The broader Topix gained 0.7 per cent to 1,756.94.
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