November 29, 2017 / 6:23 AM / 2 months ago

Nikkei rises, led by banks, financials; shrugs off North Korean missile launch

TOKYO, Nov 29 (Reuters) - Japanese stocks rose on Wednesday as banks and financial shares tracked their U.S. counterparts higher, shrugging off another North Korean missile launch.

The Nikkei share average ended 0.5 percent higher at 22,597.20, while the broader Topix advanced 0.8 percent to 1,786.15.

Financial and securities shares were among the big gainers, with the banking subindex rising 2.2 percent and the insurance subindex 3.2 percent higher.

On Wall Street, all three major indexes logged record closing highs, led by surging financials.

In testimony before a Senate committee, Jerome Powell, nominated to replace Janet Yellen as Federal Reserve chair, defended the need to potentially lighten regulation on the financial sector.

Sentiment remained intact despite North Korea firing what appeared to be an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) that landed close to Japan.

Nomura Holdings gained 1.1 percent, after Japan’s biggest brokerage and investment bank said it would cancel treasury shares worth 4.7 percent of its outstanding shares on Dec. 18

Drugstore chain MatsumotoKiyoshi Holdings shares rose 3.4 percent after a media report the company will tie up with insurer Dai-ichi Life Holdings to sell insurance products in December.

Reporting by Lisa Twaronite and Ayai Tomisawa; Editing by Shri Navaratnam

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