Japan lifts world stock markets with surprise extension of stimulus programme

 

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The Independent Online

Markets around the world rallied after the Bank of Japan unexpectedly announced an extension to its money-printing programme.

Japan’s Nikkei jumped 4.8 per cent to a seven-year high, while both  the FTSE 100 and German DAX rose more than 1 per cent after the BoE agreed to buy up money assets.

Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets, said: “As one door closes, another one opens as the saying goes. We may have seen the end of the Federal Reserve’s bond-buying programme for the time being, and the ECB is reluctant to step into the breach, [but] it appears that the Bank of Japan has no such qualms, filling the void left by the US central bank.”

Closed-end funds targeting Japan were understandably in demand in the wake of the news — Baillie Gifford Japan Trust rose 18p to 351.5p, while JPMorgan’s Japanese Investment Trust climbed 9p to 224.87p.

 

There were only a handful of losers on the top-flight index but the biggest fallers again were Randgold Resources, down 57p at 3721p, and Fresnillo, off 14.5p at 701.75p.

The pair are struggling amid tumbling gold and silver prices, with both metals at four-year lows.

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Michael van Dulken, head of research at Accendo Markets, said: “The end of QE and signs of an improving US economy delivered the double whammy of strengthening the dollar, making the metal more expensive, and equity markets rallying, reducing the apparent need for a safe haven.”

Other precious metals producers also suffered. African Barrick Gold gave up 3.1p to 210.75p, Centamin slipped 1.4p to 53.4p, Goldplat dipped 0.25p to 3.62p, Noricum Gold lost 0.02p to 0.39p and Arian Silver Corporation fell 2p to 33.75p.

Specialty chemicals producer Elementis fizzed up 9.2p to 266.65p after reaffirming full-year targets. Canaccord Genuity said the third-quarter results showed “remarkable resilience” given a slowdown in western Europe.

ULS Technology, which provides software for brokers, solicitors and estate agents among others, slipped 11.87p to 33.5p after admitting that operating profit for the year is expected to be below expectations.

Telecoms group Coms tumbled 0.47p to 3.22p on AIM despite an eye-popping 833 per cent jump in first-half revenue, from £2.4 million to £23.1 million. But losses rose from £118,000 to £214,000.

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