The Nikkei index rose to a fresh 15-year high on Wednesday as stronger-than-expected Japanese economic growth in the January-March quarter boosted investor sentiment.
The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average ended up 170.18 points, or 0.85 percent, from Tuesday at 20,196.56, the highest close since April 2000. The broader Topix index of all First Section issues on the Tokyo Stock Exchange finished 10.07 points, or 0.62 percent, higher at 1,643.40.
The combined market value of all First Section stocks temporarily topped 591 trillion yen, surpassing the highest level reached in 1989 in terms of closing prices.
The Nikkei opened higher after the Japanese government said the economy grew an annualized real 2.4 percent in the first quarter, exceeding market expectations.
The GDP figure added to expectations for strong Japanese corporate results for the current year, said Toshihiko Tatsuzawa of Nomura Securities Co.’s investment research and investor services department.
“With private consumption, residential investment, corporate capital expenditure and exports all on the rise, the data have boosted investor sentiment for both companies that rely on overseas demand and those that rely on domestic demand,” Tatsuzawa said.