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It was six minutes after the opening bell on Feb. 4, and dozens of big-name stocks were still untraded in Tokyo. Telecommunications giant SoftBank Corp. was among those that hadn’t budged. The offer price fell 5 percent, then more, and still there were no takers.

Then an order was filled: 300,000 shares at ¥6,714 — worth just over ¥2 billion, or almost $20 million. Other buyers followed, momentum built, and the stock ended the day as one of only two gainers in the Nikkei 225 stock average.

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