Tokyo's Nikkei index soars, Pokemon powers Nintendo
TOKYO - Agence France-Presse
AP photoTokyo's benchmark stock index soared Monday morning after a strong US jobs report and as the landslide victory of Japan's ruling coalition in weekend elections boosted stimulus hopes.
The Nikkei 225 surged 3.21 percent, or 485.26 points, to 15,592.24, while the broader Topix index of all first-section shares climbed 3.01 percent, or 36.39 points, to 1,246.27.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his ruling coalition swept weekend parliamentary elections in Japan, despite lukewarm public support for his economic policies, dubbed Abenomics, and wariness over amending the country's pacifist constitution.
The victory boosted hopes Tokyo would soon launch a stimulus package, reportedly worth as much as 20 trillion yen ($120 billion), to counter a slowing economy.
"Investors are basically welcoming the victory of Abe's ruling coalition," Daisuke Uno, chief market strategist of Sumitomo Mitsui Banking, told AFP.
"But the question is whether or not stock prices can keep up this pace." Nintendo was a stand-out rocketing more than 20 percent, extending a rally sparked by news that its smartphone game debuted at the top of gaming charts.
The videogame giant jumped as high as 20,270 yen -- the maximum daily limit -- as Pokemon GO -- which connects a user's real-world location to the game as they try to catch on-screen characters -- launched in the US and Australia and was an immediate hit with fans.
In March, the Super Mario maker released Miitomo, its first-ever mobile game, as it moved away from a longstanding consoles-only policy.
Investor sentiment got a boost after a strong US jobs report Friday eased fears over a slowdown in the world's top economy, analysts said.
Private businesses and government authorities across the United States generated 287,000 new positions last month, 112,000 more than analysts had expected.
The better-than-expected reading pushed Wall Street and equity markets in Europe sharply higher.
"US shares reflected the positive outcome from the payrolls report, and Japanese shares will continue that flow," Shoji Hirakawa, chief global strategist at Tokai Tokyo Research Center, told Bloomberg News.
"Abe said he'll continue to put together his economic-policy package, so that optimism is going to continue to support Japanese shares."
In currency markets, the dollar fell to 100.72 yen from 100.47 yen Friday in New York.