TOKYO, April 17 (Reuters) – Japan’s Nikkei share average ended at a more than one-month high on Monday, rising for the seventh straight session, as a weaker yen lifted exporters and bank shares tracked sharp gains of their US peers at the end of last week.
The Nikkei share average edged up 0.07% at 28,514.78, its highest close since March 9 and posted its longest rally since mid-July.
The broader Topix advanced 0.41% to end at 2,026.97.
“Overall, the market is strong, supported by the yen’s weakness, which lifted automakers. And banks tracked sharp gains of US bank shares on Friday,” said Jun Morita, general manager – research at Chibagin Asset Management.
“But I would say the market is stronger than it should be because there are signs of an economic slowdown going forward.”
The dollar hit a one-month high against the yen, as resilience in core US retail sales and impressive Wall Street bank earnings raised market expectations for an interest rate hike from the US Federal Reserve in May.
The S&P 500 banking sector jumped 3.5%, as a series of major US banks, such as Citigroup Inc C.N and JPMorgan Chase & Co beat earnings expectations.
Among individual stocks, Toyota Motor rose 1.44% and Nissan Motor rose 1.43%.
Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group gained 2,57% and 2.50%, respectively.
In Japan, shippers rose 2.52% to become the top performer among the Tokyo Stock Exchange’s 33 industry sub-indexes. Kawasaki Kisen jumped 3.53%.
Uniqlo brand-owner Fast Retailing lost 2.71%, after surging 8.5% in the previous session, becoming the biggest drag for the Nikkei.
Cosmetic maker Shiseido lost 1.97%.
(Reporting by Junko Fujita; Editing by Sohini Goswami and Rashmi Aich)