Roundup: Tokyo stocks close higher on tourism hopes, U.S. CPI data in focus

TOKYO, Sept. 13– Tokyo stocks closed higher Tuesday following a solid lead from Wall Street overnight, with transportation issues gaining on hopes Japan will further ease its COVID-19 border controls, but gains were kept in check by key U.S. inflation data being released later in the day. Brokers here said that trading got off to a bright start following the U.S. S&P…

TOKYO, Sept. 13 (Xinhua) — Tokyo stocks closed higher Tuesday following a solid lead from Wall Street overnight, with transportation issues gaining on hopes Japan will further ease its COVID-19 border controls, but gains were kept in check by key U.S. inflation data being released later in the day.

The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average added 72.52 points, or 0.25 percent, from Monday to close the day at 28,614.63.

The broader Topix index, meanwhile, gained 6.35 points, or 0.32 percent, to finish at 1,986.57.

Brokers here said that trading got off to a bright start following the U.S. S&P 500 closing more than 1 percent higher overnight, with transportation issues finding continued favor following the government here indicating Monday it may remove its daily cap on arrivals in October.

Japan has been under pressure from business circles here and other major economies to further ease its COVID-19 entrance requirements and bring them in line with other Group of Seven (G7) nations, despite the country’s infection rate still being relatively high, analysts here said.

“Expectations for an increase in people’s movements are pushing airline and railway operators higher, fueling hopes for improvements in their earnings,” Maki Sawada, a strategist in Nomura Securities Co.’s investment content department, was quoted as saying.

Other market strategists said that were the border restrictions here to ease further, Japanese stocks, already deemed relatively cheap, would be re-evaluated by market participants, which could be a boon for a broad range of issues.

“A further easing of border controls will give scope for a re-evaluation of Japanese shares,” Hajime Sakai, chief fund manager at Mito Securities, was quoted as saying.

But the market’s upside was capped by caution prevailing in later trade ahead of the release of the U.S. consumer price index (CPI) data for August, dealers here highlighted.

Even a slowdown in inflation would almost certainly solidify a 75 basis point rate hike from the U.S. Federal Reserve later this month to tame inflation, adding to concerns the Fed’s ongoing aggressive monetary policy could eventually hurt the U.S. economy, they said.

“Investors wanted to confirm the core CPI, although the overall data is expected to show a slowdown in inflation in the United States,” Toshikazu Horiuchi, an equity strategist at IwaiCosmo Securities Co., was quoted as saying.

By the close of play, land transportation, air transportation and marine transportation issues comprised those that gained the most and issues that advanced outpaced those that declined by 1,008 to 735 on the Prime Market, while 94 ended the day unchanged.

Transportation and travel-linked issues finding favor in hopes for increased tourism included Central Japan Railway adding 2.7 percent, while West Japan Railway climbed 2.6 percent.

ANA Holdings rose 2.1 percent, while travel agency H.I.S. ended the day 3.9 percent higher.

Apple linked issues here advanced, following its parent company seeing solid pre-order sales for its new iPhone model, with supplier Alps Alpine rising 1.4 percent.

Nintendo, the Nikkei’s top performer, leapt 5.5 percent, after the company announced Monday its video game Splatoon 3 booked record debut sales for a Nintendo Switch game, bettering those of previous record holder Animal Crossing: New Horizons.

On the Prime Market on Tuesday, 931.59 million shares changed hands, rising from Monday’s volume of 925.87 million shares.

The turnover on the second trading day of the week came to 2,360.85 billion yen (16.59 billion U.S. dollars). Enditem

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