Carmakers push Nikkei higher

<p>The Nikkei has bounced back from a slow start to the week.</p>

The Nikkei recovered from the heavy losses sustained earlier in the week to record a strong gain during today's (December 17th) trading session.

Having fallen by 1.6 per cent to 15,152.91 – a drop of over 250 points – on Monday, the index bounced back with a 0.8 per cent rise to close the session at 15,278.63.

Car manufacturers were among those that forced the market higher after the disappointing start to the week, with Toyota and Honda seeing shares increasing by 0.7 per cent and 0.75 per cent respectively.

This follows on from the losses the two companies experienced to their stocks on Monday, when Toyota Motor Corp fell by 1.9 per cent and Honda Motor Co lost 2.8 per cent of its value.

The Nikkei was boosted by strong manufacturing data from the US, while a strong December PMI reading in Europe also provided positive news for companies on the Japanese market.

Topix gains too

As well as good gains for the Nikkei, the Topix was also up to cancel out some of the losses it sustained on the first day of the week, when all 33 of its subsections had lost ground.

While it was 1.3 per cent down to 1,222.95 yesterday, it rose by 0.8 per cent over the course of the session today. It was also an unusual day for the Topix too, as only 1.9 billion shares switched hands, which was the lowest volume since October 22nd.

Sharp and Fanuc were also among the companies supporting the Nikkei's rise and the firms advanced 0.6 per cent and 1.65 per cent respectively, reports Fast Retailing and Softbank – two of the major stocks on the index – were also higher and they rose by 1.5 per cent and 1.75 per cent, pushing the Nikkei higher overall.

Investors are still looking ahead to the next announcement by the Federal Reserve in the US regarding its monetary policy, with any changes likely to affect markets around the world.

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