Nikkei ends higher as companies relying on China demand soar

  • Reuters
  • Stock Market News
Nikkei ends higher as companies relying on China demand soar
Credit: © Reuters.

* Nikkei ends up 2 pct for the week

* Firms with China exposure lead Friday's gains

* Descente soars after report Itochu raises stake to 40 pct

By Ayai Tomisawa

TOKYO, March 15 (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei closed higher on Friday as companies with large exposure to China soared on Beijing's commitment to boosting economic growth, while investors also saw signs of progress in U.S.-China trade talks.

There was little impact on the market from the Bank Of Japan's decision to keep monetary policy steady. Nikkei share average .N225 ended 0.8 percent higher at 21,450.85, with the index gaining 2.0 percent for the week.

China's economy is facing additional downward pressure but Beijing will not let economic growth slip out of a reasonable range, Premier Li Keqiang told reporters on Friday at end of the annual parliament meeting. Xinhua news agency said on Friday that Chinese Vice Premier Liu He spoke by telephone with U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, with the two sides making further substantive progress on trade talks. market mood is improving as worries about a global economic slowdown are receding," said Hiroyuki Fukunaga, chief executive of Investrust.

The news from China boosted Japanese firms with large exposure to the world's second largest economy.

Fanuc Corp 6954.T rose 1.4 percent, while Komatsu Ltd 6301.T gained 1.8 percent and Yaskawa Electric Corp 6506.T jumped 4.2 percent.

Elsewhere, Descente 8114.T soared 2.7 percent after the Nikkei reported that trading house Itochu Corp 8001.T had raised its stake in the sportswear maker to 40 percent from about 30 percent.

The broader Topix .TOPX gained 0.9 percent to 1,602.63, with all but two of its 33 subsectors in positive territory. Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones 1,434 to 634.

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