TOKYO, August 12 (Reuters) – Japan’s benchmark stock index ended Friday at a seven-month high, led by SoftBank Group and other tech heavyweights, as signs of slowing US inflation raised hopes from a lower rate hike by the Federal Reserve and boosted risk appetite.
Nikkei stock average .N225 jumped 2.62% to 28,546.98, its highest close since Jan. 12. The index, which posted the largest daily gain in three weeks, rose 1.32% for the week in its second straight weekly gain.
The expanded Topix .TOPX advanced 2.04% to 1,973.18 and was up 1.34% for the week.
Japanese markets were closed on Thursday for a local public holiday.
Data released on Wednesday showed U.S. consumer prices were unchanged in July from June, prompting bets that the Fed could slow its rate hikes. MKTS/GLOB.NOT
“The Japanese market is stronger today than I expected,” said Jun Morita, managing director of the research department at Chibagin Asset Management. “One of the reasons not to buy stocks was eliminated after investors confirmed the slowing pace of US inflation.”
SoftBank Group 9984.T jumped 5.55% and was the biggest boost for the Nikkei after the tech investor said it would post a $34.1 billion gain by cutting its stake in Alibaba Group Holding 9988.HK.
Chipmaking Equipment Manufacturer Tokyo Electron 8035.T advanced 4.53% and the robot manufacturer Fanuc 6954.T climbed 5.89%.
Honda engine 7267.T rose 3.82% after the automaker raised its full-year operating profit outlook on the back of a weaker yen.
All 33 Tokyo Stock Exchange industrial sub-indices rose, with precision instruments .IPRCS.T and electrical appliances .IELEC.T leading the rally, up 3.77% and 3.06%, respectively.
(Reporting by Junko Fujita; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)
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