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Tokyo stocks close higher as investors shrug off Syria strikes

Apr 16 2018 10:05

Tokyo - Tokyo stocks gained ground on Monday as investors forecast that US-led strikes on Syria would have limited impact.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index rose 0.26% to close at 21 835.53 while the broader Topix was up 0.40% at 1 736.22.

The strikes "have thus far drawn only verbal condemnation from Russia with Russia's prediction of 'global chaos' if the West hits Syria again not filling markets with fresh dread", Ray Attrill, head of currency strategy at National Australia Bank, said in a client note.

US, French and British missiles destroyed sites suspected of hosting chemical weapons development and storage facilities on the weekend, but the buildings were mostly empty and the Western allies swiftly reverted to diplomatic efforts.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, the Syrian regime's top ally, warned that fresh strikes would spark "chaos", but Washington vowed economic sanctions against Moscow rather than further military action.

"There are no signs of a further escalation in bilateral (Russia-US) tensions," said SMBC Nikko chief economist Yoshimasa Maruyama.

"Chances are that the future Syrian situation will show a similar development to that of April 2017," he said in a commentary, noting market reactions to the US missile attacks at that time were only temporary.

The dollar edged down to ¥107.21 on Monday from ¥107.35 in New York on Friday afternoon before the announcement of a wave of Western strikes against Syria's regime.

"The yen rose slightly against the dollar but the ¥107 level is not going to be a negative factor for Japanese stocks," Hikaru Sato, senior technical analyst at Daiwa Securities, told AFP.

In Tokyo trade, Toyota rose 0.37% to ¥6 936 and Honda gained 0.23% to ¥3 782, with Nissan up 0.35% at ¥1 129.

Sony gained 0.81% to ¥5 288 but Panasonic fell 0.19% to ¥1 558.

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equities  |  markets  |  tokyo stocks
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