TOKYO, Sept 3 (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei share average
hit a six-month high on Thursday and reached its highest
level in three decades in dollar terms, as hopes of more global
and domestic economic stimulus boosted sentiment.
Nikkei rose 0.94% to 23,465.53, its highest close
since Feb. 21. Converted to dollars, that put the index at its
highest since 1990.
"Coronavirus infections are slowing in many parts of the
world as various social distancing and hygienic measures have
been taken. So clearly, we can say the economy is improving
after a brief lull in August," said Nobuhiko Kuramochi, market
strategist at Mizuho Securities.
"The Japanese government is likely to extend support for
employment and the U.S. yield curve is not pricing in any hike
until 2024, prompting investors to buy risk assets," he added.
The broader Topix rose 0.48% to 1,631.24, a
Fast Retailing, which has a heavier weighting on
the Nikkei compared to Topix, rose 3.6% after reporting strong
domestic sales for August.
Semiconductor-related shares also climbed, with Shin-etsu
Chemical, manufacturer of semiconductor wafers, rising
3.7% and small motor maker Nidec gaining 1.8%.
Game maker Nintendo rose 1.6% to a 12-year high.
Cable TV operator Sky Perfect JSAT Holdings soared
15.7% after posting a surprise jump in profit, partly due to a
fall in costs as the cancellation of various professional sports
events led to lower payments for broadcast rights.
SBI Holdings rose 5.7% after a media report said
its president discussed a plan to extend a union on regional
banks it leads to about 10 banks.
Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga, who looks
set to succeed Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, said there were too
many regional banks, fanning expectations he would push for
Fukushima Bank jumped 21.6%, while Daito Bank
rose 10.0% and Tsukuba Bank gained 8.4%.
(Reporting by Hideyuki Sano; Editing by Devika Syamnath)