Nikkei 225 Tops 20,000 First Time Since 2000 on Fast Retailing

PT BEST PROFIT FUTURESJapan’s Nikkei 225 Stock Average rose above 20,000 for the first time in 15 years, fueled by Fast Retailing Co. after the Uniqlo clothes seller boosted its profit forecast.

The Nikkei 225 added 0.3 percent to 20,006 as of 9:08 a.m. in Tokyo, headed for the highest close since April 14, 2000. Fast Retailing rallied 3.1 percent, the biggest boost to the gauge, after raising its net-income forecast by 20 percent. The Topix index advanced 1,596.19 percent to 1,596.41, headed for a weekly gain of 2.1 percent. The yen traded at 120.61 per dollar after yesterday weakening 0.4 percent as strong U.S. employment figures boosted the greenback.

Fast Retailing raised its forecast for annual profit by 20 percent to 120 billion yen ($ 998 million), citing strong domestic and international sales. Nomura boosted its outlook for the retailer, saying its shares should reach 55,000 yen in 12 months. They closed yesterday at 48,500 yen.

The yen fell against the dollar after a report showed fewer Americans filed jobless claims in the past four weeks than at any time in almost 15 years. The data came a day after minutes of the Federal Reserve’s last meeting suggested the first interest-rate increase since 2006 is still on the table for this year.

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Source : Bloomberg

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Nasdaq Composite Advances Toward 2000 Record Amid Global Rally

The Nasdaq Composite Index jumped to the highest level in 15 years, nearly wiping out its losses since the end of the dot-com bubble, as Biogen Idec Inc. and energy shares helped boost a global equities rally.

The Nasdaq Composite advanced 0.7 percent to 5,026.42 at 4 p.m. in New York, after coming to within 7 points of its all-time high set in March 2000. The S&P 500 climbed 0.9 percent to 2,108.15, to its biggest weekly gain in six.

The Nasdaq Composite surged past 5,000 for the third straight day as Biogen Idec jumped to an all-time high on favorable Alzheimer drug results. The Nasdaq Biotechnology Index has gained 6 percent for the week, the most since October.

Source : Bloomberg

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