Business / Financial Markets | TSE DATA & REPORT

Tokyo stocks turn higher on hopes for BOJ's ETF buying

JIJI

Tokyo stocks bounced back Tuesday amid growing hopes for the Bank of Japan’s stepped-up purchases of exchange-traded funds.

The Nikkei 225 average rose 9.49 points, or 0.06 percent, to end at 17,011.53 after tumbling 429.01 points Monday.

The Topix, which covers all first-section issues on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, jumped 32.12 points, or 2.60 percent, to close at 1,268.46 in a turnaround from a 25.36-point plunge Monday.

The market opened sharply lower and rapidly sank deeper after the U.S. Dow Jones Industrial Average suffered a record daily point loss of about 3,000 points Monday amid mounting fears over the coronavirus pandemic. The Nikkei lost more than 600 points in the first several minutes of trading.

But the market quickly recovered, pushing the key index up by over 500 points around midmorning. Investors moved to repurchase stocks, chiefly those deemed oversold, on the back of a sharp upturn for U.S. index futures in off-hours trading, brokers said.

Such active buying proved short-lived due to heightened concerns over the adverse effects of the coronavirus outbreak on the global economy. But in the afternoon, the market recouped losses.

Speculation about ETF buying by the BOJ helped buoy the market, brokers said.

At its emergency policy-setting meeting Monday, the central bank decided to double its annual ETF purchases to ¥12 trillion along with other easing measures to mitigate damage from the virus crisis to the Japanese economy.

“The day’s rebound may probably signal that the market is getting back to normal,” said Hirohumi Yamamoto, strategist at Toyo Securities Co. He pointed out the market has recently been driven by computer-programmed transactions ignoring economic fundamentals.

Noting that pension funds are believed to have begun buying, he said, “I hope purchases by the BOJ and major institutional investors will help calm the market.”

On the first section, rising issues far outnumbered falling ones 1,874 to 273, while 19 issues were unchanged. Volume swelled to 3.065 billion shares from Monday’s 2.345 billion.

Utilities were sharply higher, with Tepco soaring 5.45 percent and Tokyo Gas 5.30 percent.

Game maker Nintendo rocketed 5.86 percent to snap a four-day losing streak.

Among other winners were Toyota and Sony.

Tokio Marine, Dai-ichi Life and other insurers met with selling.

Also on the negative side were clothing store chain Fast Retailing and mobile phone carrier KDDI.

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