TOKYO, March 1 Japanese stocks rose on Wednesday
to two-week highs as investors covered positions with the focus
shifting to U.S. monetary policy after President Donald Trump's
speech to Congress offered no details or surprises on the policy
The Nikkei share average ended 1.4 percent higher at
19,393.54, its highest close since Feb. 15, as investors covered
their positions, with the lack of negative factors in Trump's
speech providing some relief.
Trump pledged to overhaul the U.S. immigration system,
improve jobs and wages, and promised "massive" tax relief to the
middle class and tax cuts for companies.
Meanwhile, the dollar gained on growing expectations of a
U.S. interest rate hike this month, and traders said market
attention has shifted to future U.S. monetary policy.
"Japanese stocks will likely take cues from U.S. yield moves
and dollar-yen levels in the next few weeks," said Chihiro Ohta,
general manager of investment research at SMBC Nikko Securities.
The broader Topix gained 1.2 percent to 1,553.09 and
the JPX-Nikkei Index 400 rose 1.2 percent to
(Reporting by Ayai Tomisawa; Editing by Sunil Nair)