Japan’s Nikkei share average rose for the 14th straight session on Friday to post its longest winning streak in over 50 years, as a weaker yen helped stocks recoup earlier losses. During Asian trade, the dollar soared 0.6 percent to 113.16 yen after news that the U.S. Senate voted on Thursday to approve a budget blueprint for the 2018 fiscal year. This could pave the way for Republicans to pursue a tax-cut package without Democratic support.
The Nikkei opened 0.3 percent lower but ended up 0.04 percent, or 9.12 points, at 21,457.64. That was enough to clinch its longest daily winning streak since 1961. For the week, it gained 1.4 percent, its sixth straight weekly gain and the longest such winning streak in a year. The Nikkei has advanced more than 5 percent over the past 14 days on hopes that Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s ruling coalition will win a general election on Oct. 22.
Traders said that the market is prone to profit-taking before the election, but the weaker yen, which helps export competitiveness, raised investors’ risk appetite on Friday. “People were prepared to sell Japanese stocks on profit-taking, but now that there are expectations that U.S. stocks will rise later in the day, they don’t want to sell,” said Yutaka Miura, a senior technical analyst at Mizuho Securities.
“Stocks are pulled by those who want to take profits and those who want to chase the market higher.” Shares of suppliers to Apple Inc fell after its stock stumbled overnight on doubts about its double 2017 iPhone release strategy. Murata Manufacturing Co sagged 1.8 percent, Alps Electric tumbled 2.2 percent and Foster Electric shed 3.1 percent.
Food stocks gained ground, with NH Foods rising 0.8 percent and Nippon Suisan gaining 2.7 percent. Exporters were mixed as some investors took profits on recent gains. Toyota Motor Corp gained 0.3 percent, Honda Motor Co dropped 0.8 percent, while Hitachi added 0.3 percent. The broader Topix was flat at 1,730.64.