Nikkei vaults to 6-year high, driven by retail investors

PHOTO: Nikkei vaults to 6-year high, driven by retail investors

TOKYO- Tokyo's Nikkei share average climbed to a more than six-year high on Thursday, driven by buying from retail investors as tax-free investment accounts aimed at driving Japanese savings into stocks kicked off.

The Nikkei ended 1 per cent higher at 16,174.44, its highest since November 2007, while the broader Topix index was up 1.7 per cent at 1,279.34, with 2.66 billion share changing hands, hitting its highest in four sessions.

The government-sponsored investment plan, known as Nippon Individual Savings Account, will provide a five-year tax holiday on dividends and capital gains provided the money is invested in stocks, mutual funds or exchange traded funds.

The benchmark Nikkei is up 55.6 per cent this year, on track for its best annual performance since 1972, driven by Japan's aggressive fiscal and monetary stimulus to boost growth in the world's third-largest economy.