Nikkei hits 7-month high as concerns over U.S. economy ease

The Nikkei index hit a nearly seven-month high Friday morning as concerns over inflation in the U.S. economy receded following weak economic data.

In the first hour of trading, the 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average rose 566.31 points, or 2.04 percent, from Wednesday to 28,385.64. The broader Topix index was up 35.38 points, or 1.83 percent, at 1,969.03. Japanese financial markets were closed Thursday for a national holiday.

On the top-tier Prime Market, gainers were led by oil and coal product, electric appliance, and real estate issues.

Stocks were sharply higher from the outset, tracking overnight gains in the Dow index, as weaker-than-expected U.S. consumer price and producer price indexes for July improved investor sentiment, analysts said.

"Weak data fanned expectations that inflation has peaked in the United States and that the Federal Reserve therefore will not raise interest rates aggressively," said Maki Sawada, a strategist in Nomura Securities Co.'s investment content department.

© Kyodo News