TOKYO, March 18 (Reuters) - Japanese shares jumped on
Thursday, tracking Wall Street's record highs, after the U.S.
Federal Reserve projected a rapid jump in economic growth and
pledged to keep interest rates low.
The Nikkei share average jumped 1.53% to 30,372.88
by 0150 GMT, while the broader Topix advanced 1.16% to
"Investors have a lot of reasons to sell stocks at the end
of the fiscal year end March, but today their appetite for
making bets greatly exceeded the sell-off pressure," said
Takatoshi Itoshima, strategist at Pictet Asset Management.
"The Fed gave investors confidence by brushing off
uncertainties of the rate outlook by pledging to keep its
interest rate at close to zero."
The S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at
record highs on Wednesday after the Fed said the U.S. economy is
heading for its strongest growth in nearly 40 years, fuelled by
massive federal fiscal stimulus and the roll-out of COVID-19
In Japan, chip-related shares advanced, with Nikkei
heavyweights Tokyo Electron jumping 3.82%, Fanuc
gaining 3.02% and Advantest rising 4.54%.
Toyota Motor advanced 2.82%, leading the Topix
gain. Honda Motor inched up 0.55% and Nissan Motor
edged up 0.59%.
The airliners gained, with ANA Holdings and Japan
Airlines rising 0.57% and 1.2%, respectively, as the
Japanese government's advisory panel on coronavirus
countermeasures approved a plan to let the state of emergency
expire in the Tokyo area as scheduled on March 21.
There were 184 advancers on the Nikkei index against 39
decliners, with financial stocks among the top gainers on the
Daiichi Sankyo, up 3.4 %, and Fanuc advanced the
most among the Topix 30, while SoftBank Group and Seven
& i Holdings Co Ltd were among the underperformers,
losing 0.82% and 0.11%, respectively.
(Reporting by Junko Fujita; Editing by Devika Syamnath)