Japan’s Nikkei Rallies on Wall Street Gains, Softer Yen; SoftBank Jumps (Update 1)

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
Tokyo Stock Exchange

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s Nikkei share average rallied broadly on Wednesday, as a softer yen buoyed exporter shares and chip stocks tracked advances in U.S. peers overnight.

Tech investor SoftBank Group jumped 4.23% after exercising an option to receive shares in telco T-Mobile US worth some $7.59 billion for no additional cost.

The Nikkei finished the day up 1.13% at 33,681.24, with 212 of its 225 components rising, versus just 12 that fell and one that was flat. It had earlier risen as high as 33,755.75

The broader Topix added 1.13%.

“Up around 33,700, the Nikkei is likely to start feeling top heavy,” said Nomura Securities strategist Maki Sawada, pointing also to thin trading conditions due to the holidays that could exacerbate price swings.

Every one of the Tokyo Stock Exchange’s 33 industry groups rose on Wednesday, led by shippers, which surged 4.25%.

The yen eased slightly to as weak as 142.83 per dollar JPY=EBS during the session, improving the outlook for exporters’ overseas profits.

Nintendo advanced 1.99% and Sony added 1.44%.

Toyota gained 1.65%, getting some extra momentum after announcing that global production hit a record high last month.

Chip-related shares climbed after the Philadelphia SE Semiconductor Index .SOX rallied 1.8% overnight. Tokyo Electron rose 1.26% and Advantest gained 1.72%.

At the other end, retailers continued recent weakness. Department store operator J.Front Retailing was the Nikkei’s biggest percentage decliner with a 2.41% slide, despite posting earnings after the bell on Tuesday that Nomura analyst Hisahiro Yamaoka termed a “solid performance” with “no major surprises.”

Peer Takashimaya slumped 0.52%.