Tokyo stocks expected to remain firm ahead of Trump news conference

Jiji Press TOKYO (Jiji Press) — Tokyo stocks are expected to stay on a firm note, while incoming U.S. President Donald Trump’s remarks on Wednesday at his planned first news conference since winning the presidential election may affect the market.

Last week, the benchmark 225-issue Nikkei average rose 339.96 points, or 1.78 percent, to close at 19,454.33 on the Tokyo Stock Exchange Friday.

Tokyo stocks kicked off the holiday-shortened week with sharp gains on Wednesday, the first trading day of the year, on the back of strong U.S. equities. The Nikkei shot up to the highest closing level in almost 13 months.

But the key market gauge fell back moderately on Thursday, weighed down by selling to lock in gains.

On Friday, the Nikkei fell further due to the yen’s strengthening against the dollar, triggered by weaker-than-expected U.S. employment data, announced by a U.S. private-sector company on Thursday.

This week, analysts expect the Nikkei average to move in a range between 19,000 and 20,000.

“Investors will keep a close watch on Trump’s comments” at the press conference, which could push up the yen against the dollar, Hideyuki Ishiguro, senior strategist at Daiwa Securities Co., said.

“Unless Trump says something negative” to move the yen higher against the dollar, the Tokyo market will remain strong, Ishiguro also said.

Depending on Trump’s remarks, the Nikkei average could reach ¥20,000, he predicted.

“Persistent hopes for the economic policies of Trump will continue as he is unlikely to say anything extreme at the press conference, ahead of his inauguration” on Jan. 20, said Masahiro Ichikawa, senior strategist at the Economic Research Department of Sumitomo Mitsui Asset Management Co.

Ichikawa said the Nikkei average will unlikely fall below 19,000, supported by firm investor sentiment.Speech

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