Banking, steel lead Tokyo higher

| February 27, 2006

The Tokyo equities markets were up on Monday on gains in the banking and steel sectors. The Nikkei 225 and the Topix index were each up by 0.6 percent to 16,192.95 and 1,656.82 respectively.

Despite the gains, the real estate sector was down for the day even though indications are that foreign investment is returning to the sector after pulling back for a couple of weeks. The sector as a whole was down 1.3 percent, with Tokyu Land down 4 percent to ¥1,039 and no movement at all for Mitsui Fudosan, which was trading at ¥2,435.

The banking sector was up 1 percent on the day, with Mitsubishi UFJ gaining 2.4 percent to ¥1,700,000.

Steel was up sharply, with Nippon Steel gaining 5.2 percent to ¥465. Also up were Sumitomo Metal Industries, which gained 3.6 percent to ¥520, and JFE, which rose 3.8 percent to ¥4,420.

Also gaining substantially was Nippon Sheet Glass, up 5.2 percent to ¥509 as investors expected that merger attempt with British glassmaker Pilkington would be successful.

A new trading system for the Osaka Securities Exchange, Japan’s second biggest exchange, sent its shares up 6.9 percent to ¥1,060,000. The successful launch of the new system is expected to solve recent computer and data feed problems for the exchange, which handles around three percent of Japan’s equities trade.


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