Nikkei hits fresh 26-year high; Fast Retailing soars

TOKYO, Jan 9 (Reuters) – Japan’s Nikkei share average hit a 26-year high on Tuesday, helped by gains on Wall Street during a Japanese holiday and as a weaker yen lifted investors’ appetite for risk.

In midmorning trade, the Nikkei was up 0.4 percent at 23,818.01 after hitting as high as 23,952.61 earlier, its highest since November 1991. Japanese markets were closed on Monday for a national holiday.

Fast Retailing Co rose 2.3 percent after the clothing company said on Friday that its same-store sales at its Uniqlo clothing outlets in Japan rose 18.1 percent in December on the year. Fast Retailing contributed a hefty 25 positive points to the Nikkei index, the biggest contributor.

Chip making equipment manufacturers and electronic components makers outperformed, with Tokyo Electron rising 1.7 percent and TDK Corp adding 1.2 percent.

Elsewhere, paper stocks lost ground, with Oji Holdings shedding 1.4 percent and Nippon Paper Industries skidding 0.2 percent.

The broader Topix was 0.2 percent higher at 1,884.15 after touching 1,895.26, a level not seen since June 1991.

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