By Laura He, MarketWatch
Reuters Enlarge Image
HONG KONG (MarketWatch) — Japanese stocks rose on Friday to their highest closing level in nearly seven years, reacting positively to Scottish voters’ rejection of independence from the U.K., while the yen hit a fresh post-financial-crisis low against the dollar.
The Nikkei Average /zigman2/quotes/210597971/delayed JP:NIK +0.17% ended 1.6% higher at 16,321.17, the highest level since late 2007. The index capped the week with a solid 2.3% gain, rising for a third straight week. The broader Topix index /zigman2/quotes/210598092/delayed JP:180460 -0.05% closed 1.1% higher, also posting a weekly advance of 1.4%.
Meanwhile, the yen /zigman2/quotes/210561789/realtime/sampled USDJPY -0.3096% lost more ground against the dollar, reaching ¥109.02, compared with ¥108.62 in late U.S. trading Thursday. Earlier, the yen tapped ¥109.46, a fresh six-year low.
Scotland has decided to stay in the U.K., with 55% of voters rejecting independence in the referendum held Thursday, according to official results released Friday.
Among market movers, semiconductor firm Renesas Electronics Corp. /zigman2/quotes/203872935/delayed JP:6723 -1.15% rose 3%, auto maker Mazda Motor Corp. /zigman2/quotes/204777714/delayed JP:7261 -1.05% climbed 2.7%, industrial-robot manufacturer Fanuc Corp. /zigman2/quotes/202054799/delayed JP:6954 0.00% advanced 2.5%, camera maker Nikon Corp. /zigman2/quotes/203281219/delayed JP:7731 +0.72% and electronics giant Toshiba Corp. /zigman2/quotes/205628942/delayed JP:6502 -1.29% each added 1.4%, and camera maker Olympus Corp. /zigman2/quotes/200860615/delayed JP:7733 +0.97% tacked on 1%.
Other major Asian markets registered broad gains. In Hong Kong, the benchmark Hang Seng Index /zigman2/quotes/210598030/delayed HK:HSI -0.19% finished up 0.6%, with British banks HSBC Holdings PLC /zigman2/quotes/202687335/delayed HK:5 -1.98% and Standard Chartered PLC /zigman2/quotes/202369078/delayed HK:2888 -2.21% gaining 1.7% and 0.9% separately.
Over on the Chinese mainland, the Shanghai Composite Index /zigman2/quotes/210598127/delayed CN:SHCOMP +1.19% rose 0.6%. Meanwhile, both Sydney’s S&P/ASX 200 /zigman2/quotes/210598100/delayed AU:XJO +0.58% and Seoul’s Kospi Composite Index /zigman2/quotes/210598069/delayed KR:180721 -1.23% settled 0.3% higher.