Japanese stocks rallied on Thursday, the first trading day of 2018, with the Topix probing its highest levels since 1991 as securities and oil shares gained.
The Nikkei share average was up 2.5 per cent at the end of morning trade at 23,326.06. The broader Topix added 2.0 per cent to 1,853.07, reports Reuters.
Advancers outnumbered decliners 460 to 151, with 59 issues ending unchanged.
In 2017, the Nikkei gained 19.1 per cent and the Topix rose 19.7 per cent, as the stronger global economy as well as domestic political stability and the Bank of Japan’s ultra-easy monetary policy underpinned Japanese corporate earnings.
The gains helped power brokerage shares, with the securities sub-index up 3.8 per cent. Nomura Holdings added 2.7 per cent and Daiwa Securities Group was up 2.9 per cent.
Surging crude prices boosted the oil & coal sub-index by 3.6 per cent. JXTG Holdings added 4.0 per cent and Cosmo Energy Holdings was 6.8 per cent higher.
Crude oil futures rose about 2.0 per cent on Wednesday to their highest in 2-1/2 years, lifted by unrest in OPEC member Iran and strong US and German economic data.