Economy

Nikkei 225 Surges 1.96%; Japan Equities Hit All-Time High

Nikkei 225 Surges 1.96%; Japan Equities Hit All-Time High”

Tokyo followed Wall Street higher as USA stocks logged fresh records in advance of this week's meeting of the Federal Reserve which is expected to announce a drawdown of its massive bond holdings. The Tokyo market was closed on Monday for a national holiday.

In Europe, France's CAC 40 was up 0.1 percent at 5,234 while Germany's DAX was 0.1 percent lower at 5,234. South Korea's Kospi lost 0.2 percent to 2,413.48. On Monday, the two benchmark USA indexes extended gains, albeit modestly, to close at record highs.

Mining and oil stocks outperformed, with Inpex Corp rising 3.0 percent, Japan Petroleum Exploration Co gaining 1.2 percent and Idemitsu Kosan added 0.8 percent. "Not much today, though as we noted yesterday, this happier more stable backdrop brings central banks back into play", says Rob Carnell, head of research in Asia of ING.

THE FED: The consensus in markets is that the Fed will hold off from raising interest rates again but indicate that another increase could come in December.

Japan's Nikkei share average was almost flat on Wednesday morning after scaling more than two-year highs on the previous day, while investors stayed cautious before the U.S. Federal Reserve's policy meeting which ends later in the day.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude rose 1 cent to $49.92 a barrel. Against the Japanese yen, the dollar was 0.1 percent lower at 111.48 yen. Brent crude, used to price worldwide oils, dropped 9 cents to $55.39 a barrel in London. The euro strengthened to $1.1968 from $1.1945.



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