Nikkei hits 15-year high as Japan sees surprise trade surplus

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The Nikkei 225 Stock Average rose 1.1% to 20,133 — the first time it has closed above 20,000 since April 2000.

Exports of cars and electronics saw Japan produce its first monthly trade surplus in three years in March. Exports rose by a larger-than- expected 8.5% while imports were down by 14.5%, mainly due to falling oil prices.

“Exports will continue to expand, and shipments to the United States will lead the way,” said Hiroaki Muto, senior economist at Sumitomo Mitsui Asset Management.


“The trade surplus is also likely to grow larger as oil prices push down imports. This is a positive for economic growth. There are a lot of good signs in this trade data.”

Traders in Tokyo reported renewed interest from overseas investors betting on a recovery in Japanese corporate earnings and continued economic recovery, which has been spurred by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s policies.

Sentiment was helped by Sony trimming its forecast of how much it might lose this year.

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April 22, 2015 |
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