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Tokyo stocks rise further after key events

JIJI

Stocks gained further ground on the Tokyo Stock Exchange Monday after a series of closely watched events last week, with the benchmark Nikkei average ending above 20,000.

The Nikkei 225 average advanced 124.49 points, or 0.62 percent, to finish at 20,067.75. On Friday, the key market gauge gained 111.44 points.

The Topix, including all first-section issues, closed up 10.03 points, or 0.63 percent, at 1,606.07, after climbing 7.95 points the previous trading day.

Investors were relieved after key events, including the final round of France’s parliamentary election on Sunday, were over, brokers said.

The Nikkei average briefly climbed over 140 points before the market’s topside was somewhat capped in the afternoon session.

“Stocks maintained their firmness but their upward momentum stalled amid a lack of fresh incentives,” said Yoshihiko Tabei, chief analyst at Naito Securities Co.

“With few major economic indicators due out this week, market players, especially institutional investors, found it difficult to be active in trading,” Tabei added.

Monday’s trading was thin, with the daily trading value on the TSE’s first section standing below the 2-trillion-yen threshold.

“Selling tends to weigh on the market in thin trading, but incentive-backed issues supported the market,” an official of a bank-affiliated securities firm said.

An official of a major securities firm said, however, that the Nikkei average is unlikely to consolidate its downside at 20,000 in view of weakness of automobile-related issues.

Rising issues outnumbered falling ones 1,414 to 508 in the TSE’s first section, while 97 issues were unchanged.

Volume slumped to 1.484 billion shares from Friday’s 2.285 billion shares.

Mobile phone carrier SoftBank Group and industrial robot maker Fanuc, both heavily weighted components of the Nikkei average, were buoyant.

Shionogi hit this year’s high on the back of continued purchases on a news report last week that the drug maker has developed a mass production technology for cancer vaccines.

KLab shot up 17.39 percent after the company said last week that users of its Love Live! School Idol Festival smartphone game app has topped 21 million in Japan.

Other major winners included Nintendo, Sony, Tokyo Electron, Mitsubishi UFJ and Kao.

By contrast, Nomura Real Estate dived 13.77 percent on news that Japan Post will cancel its plan to acquire the realtor.

Automakers Toyota, Nissan, Honda and Subaru were downbeat.

In index futures trading on the Osaka Exchange, the key September contract on the Nikkei average rose 90 points to end at 20,030.