The Nikkei closes at a 20-month high in chipmakers’ plans

May 18 (Reuters) – Japan’s Nikkei stock index closed in the black for the sixth straight session on Thursday, jumping to a 20-month high as investors reacted positively to semiconductor investment plans and April trade data.

The Nikkei gained 1.6% to 30,573.93, up nearly 17% from January on optimism fueled by a series of share buybacks and corporate governance reform.

The broader Topix Index rose 1.14% to 2,157.85, a 33-year high.

Data from the Ministry of Finance showed that Japanese exports rose by 2.6% in April compared to the same period a year earlier, which is below analysts’ forecasts.

“April trading results further support our view that the Japanese economy will remain on track for recovery,” ING analysts wrote in a note to clients.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said after a meeting with the semiconductor industry that he expected more investment from global chip makers in Japan. Micron, one of the industry leaders, said it plans to spend up to 500 billion yen ($3.7 billion) to introduce the country’s latest ultraviolet chip technology.

Shares of semiconductor equipment makers Tokyo Electron and Advantest were up 5.45% and 7.99%, respectively.

Sony Group Corp shares rose 6.4% to a 16-month high after reports that the company was considering taking its finance division public.

($1 = 135.0500 yen)

The original message in English is available under the code: (Tom Westbrook, translated by Tomasz Kanik)


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