Tokyo stocks close flat after prime minister Abe’s win

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A pedestrian walks past a stock indicator board for the Tokyo Stock Exchange in Tokyo on September 19, 2018. Tokyo's benchmark Nikkei index surged to the highest level in nearly eight months on September 19, with investor sentiment buoyed by gains on Wall Street and a cheaper yen. / AFP PHOTO / Behrouz MEHRI

closed flat on Thursday, with traders taking Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s widely expected victory in the party leadership election in their stride.

The Nikkei 225 index closed up just 0.01 percent or 2.41 points at 23,674.93, while the broader Topix index ended up 0.11 percent or 1.94 points at 1,787.60.

The Nikkei index slipped briefly into negative territory after Abe’s comfortable victory was announced because there were “no fresh clues for trade” during the afternoon session, Yoshihiro Ito, chief strategist at Okasan Online Securities, said in a commentary.

But investors in general were bullish, looking beyond the latest tit-for-tat tariffs by China and the United States, analysts said.

The dollar was quoted at 112.15 yen in late Asian trade, slightly lower than 112.26 yen in New York and 112.32 yen in Tokyo Wednesday, but was higher than the 111 yen levels seen earlier this week.

Some blue-chip exporters closed higher, with Honda gaining 1.03 percent to 3,419 yen and Nissan up 0.36 percent to 1,090.5 yen.

Game giant Nintendo jumped 4.80 percent to 41,920 yen on news about the release of new titles for its Nintendo Switch console.

Banks were also higher, with Mitsubishi UFJ Financial up 1.62 percent at 714.1 yen and its rival Sumitomo Mitsui Financial ending up 1.43 percent at 4,603 yen.


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