Nikkei soars on U.S. trade data; Topix at highest since July 2008
TOKYO, Jan 8 (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei soared on Wednesday after strong trade data in the United States boosted risk appetite, with traders seeing buying from foreign pension funds, while Nintendo Co Ltd jumped after China temporarily lifted a ban on selling game consoles. The Nikkei ended 1.9 percent higher at 16,121.45, nearing a six-year high of 16,320.22 reached on Dec. 30. The broader Topix index jumped 1.8 percent to 1,306.23, a level not seen since July 2008, in active trade, with 3 billion shares changing hands, the highest volume since Dec. 13. Traders said overseas pension funds and other foreign investors were among buyers of financials such as Nomura Holdings and Mizuho Financial Group, up 4.6 percent and 3.5 percent, respectively. Nomura was the most traded stock on the main board, while Mizuho was the fourth. Nintendo, the seventh-most traded, surged 11 percent to a 2-1/2 year high after China temporarily lifted a 14-year-old ban on selling video game consoles. The JPX-Nikkei Index 400, which started trading on Monday, gained 1.8 percent to 11,800.26. The U.S. November trade deficit shrank to its lowest in four years, thanks mainly to a renaissance in energy production, prompting analysts to revise up forecasts for economic growth.
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