Nikkei Hits 27-Year High

Japan’s Nikkei soared to a 27-year high on Friday, boosted by a stronger dollar and Wall Street’s gains on Thursday. Renewed global optimism sent Japan’s benchmark index broadly higher, to a high of 24,286.10, a level not hit since November 1991. As of 2:43 p.m. HK/SIN the Nikkei was down slightly, to 24,120.04, but it was still up 1.36 percent for the session.

Most other Asian indexes shared the optimism, with South Korea’s Kopsi the only major index in the red, with a loss of 0.54 percent in the mid-afternoon. The Shenzhen Composite was up 0.60 percent, the Shanghai Composite was up 0.63 percent and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index sowed a modest 0.09 percent gain.

European stocks are not expected to share the gains, as sentiment is expected to be tempered by political turmoil in the region, specifically in Italy, where on Thursday the government set a target for the budget deficit at 2.4 percent of the GDP through 2021. Tensions were also running high in the United Kingdom where Brexit fears continued to plague the markets.

The dollar continued its climb on Friday, continuing its strength after the Federal Reserve raised interest rates and expressed optimism about the country’s economy. The dollar index was up 0.17 percent to 95.05 .DXY. The dollar was up against the yen, gaining 0.02 percent to trade at 113.39. The greenback strengthened against the British pound, trading at $1.307, a 0.07 percent slide for the pound. The euro also posted losses, easing 0.09 percent to $1.1629.

Sara Patterson has a Master’s Degree in political science and enjoys analyzing both current events and the international markets to get a fuller perspective of the currency market. Before turning to financial writing, she taught English writing skills to high-school age students. Sara’s work has been published on various financial and Forex blogs.