Nikkei Hits 15 Year High After GDP Surprise

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.

via Mainichi

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Alfonso Esparza

Alfonso Esparza

Senior Currency Analyst at Market Pulse
Alfonso Esparza specializes in macro forex strategies for North American and major currency pairs. Upon joining OANDA in 2007, Alfonso Esparza established the MarketPulseFX blog and he has since written extensively about central banks and global economic and political trends. Alfonso has also worked as a professional currency trader focused on North America and emerging markets. He has been published by The MarketWatch, Reuters, the Wall Street Journal and The Globe and Mail, and he also appears regularly as a guest commentator on networks including Bloomberg and BNN. He holds a finance degree from the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education (ITESM) and an MBA with a specialization on financial engineering and marketing from the University of Toronto.
Alfonso Esparza