Tokyo stocks bounced back Wednesday as selling triggered by coronavirus fears abated following an overnight rally in U.S. equities.
The 225-issue Nikkei average of the Tokyo Stock Exchange rose 163.69 points, or 0.71 percent, to end at 23,379.40. On Tuesday, the key market gauge lost 127.80 points.
The Topix index of all TSE first section issues closed up 7.67 points, or 0.45 percent, at 1,699.95, after falling 10.29 points the previous day.
The Tokyo market got off to a higher start, after the Dow Jones Industrial Average and other major U.S. stock indexes rallied Tuesday from the previous day’s drops attributed to a spread of the deadly virus, brokers said.
But the Nikkei and Topix lost steam soon and briefly fell into negative territory in midmorning trading, weighed down by selling to lock in profits.
The market headed up later and stayed on the positive side for the rest of the session, helped by a media report that the U.S. government has decided against suspending flights to and from China, brokers said.
“Early in the session, investors refrained from active buying to see how the Hong Kong market would open after a holiday,” said Hirohumi Yamamoto, strategist at Toyo Securities Co. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index opened with a loss of over 3 percent, but it resisted falling further.
“A sense of security spread in Tokyo after the drop in Hong Kong stocks fell within the market’s expectations,” he added.
Rising issues outnumbered falling ones 1,094 to 967 in the TSE’s first section, while 98 issues were unchanged.
Volume fell to 1.032 billion shares from Tuesday’s 1.171 billion shares.
Tokyo Electron, Screen Holdings Co. and other semiconductor-related issues attracted purchases after their U.S. peers fared well overnight.
Financials such as megabank group Mizuho Financial Group Inc. and insurer Dai-ichi Life Holdings Inc. rose thanks to a rise in U.S. long-term interest rates.
Among other major winners were clothing store chain Fast Retailing Co. and air job information service firm Recruit Holdings Co.
By contrast, Fujitsu General sagged after the air conditioner-maker reported stalled progress in achieving its consolidated operating profit target for the year to March.
Also on the negative side were drugmaker Eisai Co. and automaker Subaru Corp.
In index futures trading on the Osaka Exchange, the key March contract on the Nikkei average gained 200 to end at 23,360.
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