Tokyo's Nikkei stock index closes at highest level since 2007
TOKYO - Tokyo's Nikkei 225 index closed at its highest level in nearly seven years on Friday as the tumbling yen propelled the Japanese market, while investors breathed a sigh of relief over Scotland's vote to stay in the United Kingdom.
The benchmark Nikkei rose 1.58 percent, or 253.60 points, to finish at 16,321.17, its best finish since November 2007, while the Topix index of all first-section shares jumped 1.06 percent, or 14.00 points, to 1,331.91.
Tokyo's rally followed a positive lead from Wall Street, which saw another record close as investors bet that Scotland would not leave Britain. Later Thursday, the results confirmed that the "No" camp had prevailed.
Sentiment was also lifted by Wednesday's Federal Reserve decision to keep interest rates low and enthusiasm ahead of Chinese e-ecommerce giant Alibaba's expected initial public offering Friday.
Major Japanese exporters were the key winners as the yen slumped against the dollar, a plus for the firms' profitability.
In currency trading, the greenback was at a six-year high of 109.14 yen, compared with 108.68 yen in New York.
"Wall Street, the yen, Scotland -- they were all key positive factors today," said Kenzaburo Suwa, strategist at Okasan Securities.
"The market appears to be overheating, but the upward trend is likely to continue for now as investors see not buying shares as a bigger risk."