Japan’s Nikkei 225 share benchmark tops 40,000, lifted by technology stocks


HONG KONG (AP) — Japan’s Nikkei 225 share benchmark topped 40,000 on Monday for the first time as strong demand for technology shares keeps pushing the index higher.

By midday in Tokyo, the index had gained 0.8% to 40,226.83.

Shares in computer-chip related companies rallied, with Renesas Electronics Corp. jumping 5.8% and Advantest Corp. up 3.9%. Olympus gained 7.4%.

Shares in Japan have tracked gains in other markets driven by expectations for strong demand for technology associated with artificial intelligence.

They’ve also been boosted by continued easy credit policies that has the Bank of Japan pumping money into the economy to help support growth. Those policies have kept the Japanese yen relatively weak against the U.S. dollar and other major currencies, boosting profits of exporters.

Tokyo’s rally followed broad gains Friday on Wall Street, where the S&P 500 rose 0.8%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 0.2% and the Nasdaq composite climbed 1.1%.

Excitement around artificial-intelligence technology helped drive the advance. Dell soared more than 30%.

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