Japan’s Nikkei stock index breaks its 1989 record and surges to an all-time high


Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 index surged Thursday past the record it set in 1989 before its financial bubble burst, ushering in an era of faltering growth.

The index closed Thursday at 39,098.68, up 2.2%. It had been hovering for weeks near 34-year highs. Its previous record was 38,915.87, set on Dec. 29, 1989.

That was more than a generation ago at the height of Japan’s post-war boom.

After the peak, as banks wrote off some 100 trillion yen in bad debts, shares meandered well below the record for many years — dipping below 8,200 in 2011 after the triple disasters of a massive earthquake and tsunamis and meltdowns at the Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear power plant in northeastern Japan.

But the market has logged sharp gains in recent months, helped by strong interest from foreign investors who account for the majority of trading volume on the Tokyo exchange.

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