Japan’s Nikkei Rallies to More than Two-Month High on Fresh Tech Momentum (Update 1)

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
Tokyo Stock Exchange

TOKYO, June 26 (Reuters) – Japan’s Nikkei share average climbed more than 1% to secure a 2-1/2 month closing peak on Wednesday, as investors snapped up technology stocks and chip-related heavyweights surged.

The Nikkei rose 1.26% to 39,694.50, its highest closing level since April 9, after touching a near three-month intraday high of 39,788.63.

The broader Topix finished up 0.56% to 2,802.95.

Japan’s technology-related shares rallied after a lull earlier this week, following a strong performance by AI chip firm Nvidia and other U.S. tech megacaps overnight.

“The rise in U.S. tech stocks has generated a pretty strong tailwind” for Japanese equities, becoming the driving force of the day, said Masahiro Ichikawa, chief market strategist at Sumitomo Mitsui DS Asset Management.

Advantest, which counts Nvidia among its customers, surged 7% to be the largest percentage gainer of the day, while fellow chip-related firm Tokyo Electron added 3.6%.

Together, the two stocks lifted the Nikkei by 231 points.

Electronic machinery makers rose 1.4% to lead sector gains among the Tokyo Stock Exchange’s 33 industry subindexes.

Market participants may also be re-investing dividend payouts into the market after a batch of payments this week, giving some degree of extra support to shares, said Sumitomo Mitsui DS Asset Management’s Ichikawa.

Dividends have increased as Japan pushes for corporate governance reform. Those reforms have been one of the big supports that helped the Nikkei reach an all-time peak of 41,087.75 on March 22.

The Nikkei’s break higher on Wednesday gave an additional boost to investor sentiment.

After retreating in April, the index had struggled to get above the 39,400 level amid tepid company revenue outlooks and concerns about currency and bond market volatility.

Investors have also been waiting further clarity on the Bank of Japan’s monetary policy path.

On Wednesday, among other heavyweight stocks, Fast Retailing rose 1%, AI-focused startup investor SoftBank Group gained 1.6%, and electrical components maker TDK was up 2.5%.