Japan stocks scale 4-month peak on strong global equities, softer yen
* Nikkei, Topix reach highest levels since early Dec
* Banks lifted after strong gains by U.S. peers
* Suzuki Motor slips as vehicle recall bites
By Shinichi Saoshiro
TOKYO, April 15 (Reuters) – Japan’s Nikkei share average and the broader Topix both scaled four-month highs on Monday, boosted by a surge in global equities and a weaker yen.
The Nikkei ended the day 1.37 percent higher at 22,169.11 after touching 22,211.03, its highest since Dec. 4.
Japanese shares were lifted after the S&P 500 closed within one percent of September’s record high on Friday, buoyed by JPMorgan’s strong earnings.
“Japanese shares had long lagged their global counterparts but they are finally beginning to catch up,” said Takashi Hiroki, chief strategist at Monex Securities.
“U.S.-China trade concerns have receded, the Fed is no longer hiking rates and Brexit has been postponed, which all bodes well for risk assets. This prepares the way for foreign investors to begin buying undervalued Japanese shares again.”
Boosted after JPMorgan led a surge by U.S. financials, Japanese banks rose across the board. Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group gained 1.4 percent, Mizuho Financial Group rose 1.1 percent and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group added 1.8 percent.
Exporters such as automakers advanced as the yen struggled near a 1-1/2-month low against the dollar.
Nissan Motor Co added 0.8 percent, Honda Motor Co gained 1.1 percent and Toyota Motor Corp rose 0.6 percent.
Suzuki Motor Corp, on the other hand, slipped 2.3 percent after the company flagged an extraordinary loss of 80 billion yen ($714.54 million) due to the recall of nearly 2 million cars related to improper vehicle inspections.
Vector Inc soared 8.4 percent after the public relations agency forecast its operating profit would increase 40 percent in the year through February 2020.
On the other hand, employment agency DIP Corp tumbled 17 percent with the company expecting its recurring profit to sink 17.3 percent in the year through February 2020.
All 33 of the Tokyo Stock Exchange’s subindexes were in positive territory, led by mining and insurance .
Advancing issues outnumbered decliners 1,910 to 190.
The broader Topix ended the day up 1.4 percent at 1,627.93 after going as high as 1,632.19, its strongest since Dec. 6. ($1 = 111.9600 yen) (Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)
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