Nikkei posts best year since 1972 as Abenomics drives gains

TOKYO Mon Dec 30, 2013 12:42pm IST

Pedestrians look at an electronic board displaying various stock prices as a cameraman records video of them outside a brokerage in Tokyo December 24, 2013. REUTERS/Yuya Shino

Pedestrians look at an electronic board displaying various stock prices as a cameraman records video of them outside a brokerage in Tokyo December 24, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Yuya Shino

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TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei stock average rose to a fresh six-year high to close out 2013 with a 57 percent annual gain, its biggest in more than 40 years on the back of aggressive economic stimulus by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

The Nikkei rose for a ninth day to end 0.7 percent higher at 16,291.31 on Monday, its longest winning streak since July 2009.

Mazda Motor Corp (7261.T) was the Nikkei's best performer in 2013, gaining 213 percent. Softbank Corp (9984.T) came in second with a 193 percent gain, while Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd (7270.T), which makes Subaru vehicles, was third.

Nikon Corp (7731.T) was the worst performer this year, down 20.5 percent, followed by Toho Zinc Co Ltd (5707.T) and Pacific Metals Co Ltd (5541.T).

The broader Topix was up 1 percent at 1,302.29, rising above 1,300 for the first time since August 2008. Trading volume hit a two-week high with 2.91 billion shares changing hands.

(Japan's markets will be closed for the New Year holiday from December 31 to January 3. Reuters coverage of the Japanese stock markets will resume on January 6.)

(Reporting by Dominic Lau; Editing by Richard Pullin)

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