Tokyo shares close higher on hope for new government

(iStock)
(iStock)

Tokyo shares closed higher on Wednesday on expectations for the government formed by newly elected Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, who succeeded Shinzo Abe.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index edged up 0.09 percent, or 20.64 points, to end at 23,475.53 while the broader Topix index advanced 0.21 percent, or 3.51 points, to 1,644.35.

Tokyo investors were assessing the likely economic policies of Suga, who has pledged to continue the path charted by his predecessor.

"Tokyo shares moved into positive territory on hopes for the new government," Okasan Online Securities said in a note.

The global market is focused on Wednesday's conclusion of the two-day US Fed meeting. Fed Chair Jay Powell is expected to again signal near-zero interest rates for the foreseeable future.

Analysts are also watching for further details on the bank's new inflation targeting strategy and comments from Powell on the outlook for economic recovery.

The Bank of Japan will also kick off its two-day policy board meeting on Wednesday. Governor Haruhiko Kuroda is scheduled to hold a press conference on Thursday.

The dollar stood at 105.34 yen in Tokyo, compared with 105.45 yen in New York.

Among major shares in Tokyo, SoftBank Group surged 4.63 percent to 6,704 yen as it moves to sell chip designer Arm to NVIDIA for up to $40 billion.

Sony gained 1.88 percent to 8,210 yen.

Automakers were lower with Honda dropping 2.59 percent to 2,629.5 yen and Nissan falling 2.48 percent to 388.3 yen.

Engineering firm Hitachi lost 1.67 percent to 3,705 yen amid reports that it planned to withdraw from a proposed UK nuclear power project.

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