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Nikkei bounces back 321 points after Trump-triggered Jerusalem plunge

JIJI

Stocks staged a rally Thursday on the Tokyo Stock Exchange as buying on dips helped offset sharp falls triggered the previous day by news that U.S. President Donald Trump decided to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

The 225-issue Nikkei average jumped 320.99 points, or 1.45 percent, to close at 22,498.03. On Wednesday, the key market gauge plunged 445.34 points, the biggest single-day point loss since Nov. 9, 2016, when heavy selling greeted Trump’s surprising victory in the U.S. presidential election.

The Topix index of all first-section issues finished up 20.83 points, or 1.18 percent, at 1,786.25, after shedding 25.55 points the previous day.

Tokyo stocks attracted purchases on declines from the outset of Thursday’s trading after the latest tumble stemming from concerns over the Middle East.

Investors’ worries eased somewhat after Trump’s Jerusalem endorsement didn’t severely batter U.S. and European stocks overnight, brokers said.

Overseas markets “have digested” the news on Jerusalem, an official at a bank-linked securities firm said, noting that Tokyo stocks were brisk thanks to bargain hunting by individual investors.

Stock prices bounced back due to “buybacks after they sagged too much” on Wednesday, said Hideyuki Suzuki, head of the investment market research department at SBI Securities Co.

The buybacks, apparently led by nonresidents, helped the market stay firm throughout Thursday, though some players sat on the fence ahead of Friday’s release of the U.S. government’s closely watched job data for November, Suzuki said.

Rising issues far outnumbered falling ones 1,716 to 269 in the TSE’s first section, while 60 issues were unchanged.

Trading volume fell to 1.5 billion shares from Wednesday’s 1.7 billion.

Semiconductor-related Tokyo Electron and Sumco were buoyant after their U.S. peers fared well in New York on Wednesday.

Other major winners included parcel delivery firm Yamato Holdings, cosmetics maker Shiseido and Hitachi Construction Machinery.

By contrast, oil companies Japex and Inpex met with selling prompted by lower crude oil prices.

Electronics maker Sharp slumped 2.06 percent on the first day of its return to the TSE’s first section Thursday, about 16 months after its demotion to the second section.

In index futures trading on the Osaka Exchange, the key December contract on the Nikkei average jumped 330 to 22,530.