Published:  12:33 AM, 08 December 2017

Tokyo stocks bounce back after dip amid Jerusalem worries

Tokyo stocks bounce back after dip amid Jerusalem worries An investor looks at an electronic board showing stock information at a brokerage house in Shanghai, China. -Reuters

Tokyo stocks on Thursday recovered from a two-percent drop in the key index the previous day amid lingering worries over US President Donald Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital. The benchmark Nikkei 225 index gained 1.45 percent, or 320.99 points, to close at 22,498.03, while the broader Topix index was up 1.18 percent, or 20.83 points, at 1,786.25.

"Although US President Trump's announcement to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital is a worrisome factor for the situation in the Middle East, Japanese shares may regain part of the sharpest drop this year the previous day," SBI Securities said in a commentary.

The muted reaction in US stocks to the president's comment is also supporting the Tokyo market, it noted. A weak yen, which is a positive for Japanese exporters, also helped the Nikkei index recover, dealers said. The dollar was trading at 112.51 yen Thursday afternoon, up from 112.27 yen in New York late Wednesday. On Wednesday in Tokyo, the key Nikkei 225 index closed down 1.97 percent, suffering the biggest points loss this year, as reports emerged during trading hours that Trump was set to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

Trump later Wednesday confirmed the report in a speech from the White House, saying: "It is time to officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel." The move prompted an almost universal diplomatic backlash and fears of new bloodshed in the Middle East. In Tokyo, Mitsubishi Motors was up 0.50 percent to 798 yen after a report that it plans to boost global output by 10 percent by fiscal 2018.

Sharp, which was formally acquired last year by Taiwan's Hon Hai, better known as Foxconn, was down 2.05 percent at 3,805 yen as it returned to the prestigious First Section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange on Thursday. Semiconductor-testing device maker Advantest was up 1.76 percent at 2,139 yen after a media report that its operating profit in the fiscal year 2018 would rise 10 percent. Toyota rose 0.78 percent to 6,932 yen as Sony gained 1.83 percent to 5,119 yen.

-AFP, Tokyo

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