Nikkei ends at 29-year high in final trading of 2019

Attendants are seen next to a monitor showing the stock index price after a ceremony marking the end of trading in 2019 at the Tokyo Stock Exchange in Tokyo, December 30, 2019. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon. Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

TOKYO, Dec 31, 2019, Kyodo. The benchmark Nikkei stock index on Monday saw its highest year-end close since 1990, though Tokyo shares succumbed to mild selling to lock in gains ahead of the New Year holidays, Japan Today reported.

The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average ended down 181.10 points, or 0.76 percent, from Friday at 23,656.62. The broader Topix index of all First Section issues on the Tokyo Stock Exchange finished 11.82 points, or 0.68 percent, lower at 1,721.36.

Major decliners included metal product, electric gas and power, and machinery issues.

The Nikkei gained 18 percent this year after getting off to a weak start. It posted the year’s lowest daily close of 19,561.96 on the first trading day on Jan. 4.

Stocks were under pressure throughout much of the year due to fears of a global economic slowdown amid U.S.-China trade tensions.

But they staged a strong rally toward year-end, helped by an interim deal between Washington and Beijing as well as interest rate cuts by the Federal Reserve to boost the U.S. economy, one of the biggest destinations for Japanese exports.

“The issue of U.S.-China trade relations remained the dominant force behind the rattling of the market,” said Shingo Ide, chief equity strategist at the NLI Research Institute. Ide added, however, that the market was underpinned by positive news from negotiations between the world’s two largest economies.

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