Tokyo stocks rebounded Wednesday thanks to buybacks and an upturn in Chinese shares, despite persistent concerns over the spread of a deadly coronavirus outbreak.
The Nikkei average of 225 selected issues on the first section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange rose 166.79 points, or 0.70 percent, to end at 24,031.35, after tumbling 218.95 points Tuesday.
The TOPIX index of all TSE first-section issues closed up 9.16 points, or 0.53 percent, at 1,744.13, following a 9.19-point drop the previous day.
The Tokyo market opened slightly weaker, with sentiment dampened by a fallback on Wall Street on Tuesday after a weeklong advance amid heightened fears over the new Chinese virus, which was confirmed to have reached the United States the same day.
But repurchases soon emerged, and buying gathered momentum after Hong Kong and Shanghai stocks exhibited their renewed strength following their plunges the previous day.
The coronavirus fears were somewhat eased by the Chinese government’s pledge to promptly disclose information on infection and take countermeasures, brokers said.
Stocks went sideways in positive territory in the afternoon amid a dearth of fresh market-moving events.
“Market players sat on the fences in the afternoon to wait for further news about the deadly viral outbreak, particularly in the United States,” said Yutaka Miura, senior technical analyst at Mizuho Securities Co.
Investors were also eager to see how far the infection will spread during the seven-day Lunar New Year holiday starting Friday, he added.
Meanwhile, Tomoaki Fujii, head of the investment research division at Akatsuki Securities Inc., noted that participants will not care much about the coronavirus unless tens of and hundreds of people die from now on, with the earnings season starting next week.
On the TSE’s first section, rising issues outnumbered falling ones 1,286 to 758, while 115 issues were unchanged. Volume climbed to 1.0 billion shares from Tuesday’s 9.1 billion shares.
Japan Display, electronics parts maker Murata Manufacturing and other issues related to Apple Inc. rose in the wake of a media report about the start of production of a low-cost iPhone model in February.
Kura Sushi jumped 2.64 percent in response to the sushi-go-round restaurant chain’s opening of a flagship store in the Asakusa tourist district in Tokyo’s Taito Ward.
Among other major winners were chipmaking gear manufacturer Tokyo Electron and security firm Secom.
By contrast, Mitsubishi Motors plunged 4.19 percent following German prosecutors’ raid on the Japanese automaker for suspected cheating on emissions tests.
Other losers included drug maker Shionogi and network integrator Net One Systems.
In index futures trading on the Osaka Exchange, the key March contract on the Nikkei average advanced 160 points to 24,020.
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