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Nikkei 225 surpasses 40k mark

HONG KONG (AP) — Japan’s Nikkei 225 share benchmark topped 40,000 on Monday for the first time as strong demand for technology shares keeps pushing the index higher.

By midday in Tokyo, the index had gained 0.8 per cent to 40,226.83.

Shares in computer-chip related companies rallied, with Renesas Electronics Corp. jumping 5.8 per cent and Advantest Corp. up 3.9 per cent. Olympus gained 7.4 per cent.

Shares in Japan have tracked gains in other markets driven by expectations for strong demand for technology associated with artificial intelligence.

They’ve also been boosted by continued easy credit policies that have the Bank of Japan pumping money into the economy to help support growth. Those policies have kept the Japanese yen relatively weak against the US dollar and other major currencies, boosting profits of exporters.

Tokyo’s rally followed broad gains Friday on Wall Street, where the S&P 500 rose 0.8 per cent. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 0.2 per cent and the Nasdaq composite climbed 1.1 per cent.

Excitement around artificial-intelligence technology helped drive the advance. Dell soared more than 30 per cent.

A person walks in front of an electronic stock board showing Japan’s Nikkei 225 index at a securities firm Monday, March 4, 2024, in Tokyo. PHOTO: AP