June 3, 2014 3:23 pm JST

Nikkei recovers to 15,000 on optimism over global economy

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Tokyo stocks ended higher Tuesday, with the Nikkei index ending above the 15,000 line for the first time in about two months, on investor optimism over the global economy and a weaker yen.

     The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average ended up 98.33 points, or 0.66 percent, from Monday at 15,034.25, its highest finish since April 4. The broader Topix index of all First Section issues on the Tokyo Stock Exchange finished 8.12 points, or 0.67 percent, higher at 1,228.59, marking its ninth winning streak.

     Tokyo shares continued to rise supported by investor optimism over the development of the global economy stemming from favorable data out of the United States and China, brokers said.

     The Institute for Supply Management in the United States said Monday that its index of national factory activity improved to 55.4 in May from 54.9 in April, and the Chinese government said Tuesday morning its official nonmanufacturing purchasing managers' index rose to 55.5 in May from 54.8 in April.

     The dollar's rise to a one-month high in the mid-102 yen zone also supported stocks, with export-led shares including three major automakers -- Toyota, Honda and Nissan -- gaining ground.

     Tsutomu Yamada, market analyst at kabu.com Securities Co., said the Nikkei business daily's report earlier in the day that Japan's Government Pension Investment Fund could boost its fund allocation to riskier assets including stocks underpinned Tokyo stocks' momentum.

     "This is a measure to shore up stock prices in the name of economic growth strategy," said Yamada.

     However, Tokyo stocks turned top-heavy after an initial round of buying ran its course and profit-taking kicked in, said Hiroichi Nishi, assistant general manager of equity research at SMBC Nikko Securities Inc.

     Stocks remained higher throughout the day supported by dip-buying, Nishi added.

     Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones 1,035 to 617 on the First Section, while 159 finished unchanged.

     Technology shares were among the day's best performers, with Hitachi gaining 23 yen, or 3.3 percent, to 731 yen and TDK rising 60 yen, or 1.3 percent, to 4,535 yen.

     Other major gainers included brokerage, oil and bank issues.

     Baby care goods maker Pigeon rose 485 yen, or 10.2 percent, to 5,230, after announcing Monday that its group net profit for the February to April quarter rose 33.5 percent from a year earlier.

     But papermaker Daio Paper fell 83 yen, or 7.1 percent, to 1,089 yen after releasing a plan to raise up to 22.4 billion yen through a public offering and third-party placement of new shares, raising a share dilution concern.

     Trading volume on the main section totaled 2,226.57, up from 2,037.51 million shares on Monday.

     Meanwhile, the Tokyo Stock Exchange Mothers Index, the gauge of the market for start-up companies, rose for the 11th straight trading day, its longest winning streak on record.