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JIJI

The Nikkei 225 average hit a 14-month high Tuesday, aided by a record-breaking advance on Wall Street and the yen’s weakening against the dollar.

The Nikkei gained 113.77 points, or 0.47 percent, to end at 24,066.12, the best finish since Oct. 3 last year. On Monday, the key market gauge dropped 70.75 points.

The Topix, which covers all first-section issues on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, closed 10.33 points, or 0.59 percent, higher at 1,747.20, a level unseen since Oct. 10, 2018. It lost 3.11 points Monday.

Stocks shot up at the opening bell on hefty purchases spurred by all three major U.S. market gauges — the Dow Jones Industrial Average, the Nasdaq composite index and the S&P 500 — rewriting their all-time closing highs Monday, brokers said.

But the market quickly lost steam and struggled for direction for the rest of the morning session.

Investors returned to the buy side in the afternoon, taking heart from an easier yen against the dollar and brisk performance of Shanghai and Hong Kong stocks, brokers said.

“Behind the market rebound was buying to cover short positions,” Masayuki Otani, chief market analyst at Securities Japan Inc., said, adding that short-covering purchases are likely to continue this week to help the Nikkei “consolidate its downside at 24,000.”

Sentiment has improved since the conclusion of the “phase one” trade deal between the United States and China and the ruling Conservative Party’s victory in the British general election to ensure Brexit early next year, other market sources said.

On the TSE’s first section, rising issues outnumbered falling ones 1,499 to 546 while 112 issues were unchanged. Volume increased to 1.289 billion shares from 1.134 billion Monday.

Precision equipment makers such as Olympus attracted purchases, as did Astellas and other pharmaceuticals.

Denso rose after Mizuho Securities Co. raised its target price.

Among other winners were clothing store chain Fast Retailing and technology investor SoftBank Group.

Meanwhile, steel mills met with selling, with Nippon Steel falling 1.25 percent and Kobe Steel 1.12 percent.

Japan Post Insurance and Japan Post fell due to media reports that they would be slapped with partial business suspension orders for their inappropriate insurance sales practices.

Also on the negative side were chipmaking gear manufacturer Tokyo Electron and ad agency Dentsu.

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