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Japanese stock market surges to five-year high

Hannah Smith
Written By:
Hannah Smith

Japan’s main equity market, Nikkei, surged to a five-year high on the first day of trading after the country’s Golden Week public holiday.

The Nikkei 225 rose to 14,180, up 486 points or 3.55%, its highest level since June 2008.

News of a huge stimulus package from the Bank of Japan to boost the economy has helped support Japanese asset prices in recent weeks.

Other major policy moves, including last week’s interest rate cut by the European Central Bank, also helped boost investor sentiment.

The yen has continued to weaken to almost 99 yen to the dollar, offering support to the country’s exporters.

Meanwhile, Australia’s central bank cut its benchmark interest rate to a record low of 2.75% in a move to weaken the dollar and reverse slowing growth in the mining sector.

The FTSE 100 closed last week almost 1% higher, up 60 points to 6,521, while the main French and German equity markets were slightly in negative territory.

The eurozone’s private sector shrank for the 15th consecutive month in April, suggesting the single currency area will fall deeper into recession.

Germany also saw a drop in business activity during the month, threatening to drag other eurozone countries further into recession.

In the States, the S&P 500 was up slightly to trade 0.19% higher at 1,617.