Nikkei tops 10,000 for first time since October

By AFP

July 15, 2010 Updated Jun 14, 2009 at 9:42 PM CDT

Japanese share prices have briefly topped the 10,000 level for the first time since October amid growing hopes of an economic recovery.

It was the first time the benchmark index had breached the psychologically important 10,000 mark since October 8, when it logged an intra-day high of 10,011.64.

At 10:30 am (0130 GMT), the benchmark Nikkei-225 index stood at 9,977.75, after touching 10,022.23 earlier in the morning.

"Optimism about a recovery is increasing," said Ryuta Otsuka, strategist at Toyo Securities. "Risk money which had fled to bond markets is beginning to return to stocks and commodity markets," he said.

Revised growth figures for the first quarter, which showed the Japanese economy shrank less than earlier estimated "may have modestly contributed" to the rise in stocks prices, he added.

"Stock trade will be mixed for the rest of Thursday, after topping the psychologically important 10,000 mark," Otsuka said.

Japan's economy shrank at an annualised pace of 14.2 percent in the first quarter of 2009, a smaller contraction than initially estimated, the government announced 10 minutes before the stock market opened Thursday.

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