Tokyo stocks bounced back sharply Friday as investors cheered an overnight surge on Wall Street despite persistent fears about the new coronavirus.
The Nikkei average of 225 selected issues listed on the first section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange advanced 724.83 points, or 3.88 percent, to close at 19,389.43, the day’s high, after plunging 882.03 points on Thursday.
The Topix index of all first-section issues climbed 60.17 points, or 4.30 percent, to close at 1,459.49 following a 25.30-point drop the previous day.
The Tokyo market got off to a strong start that sent the Nikkei average up some 700 points at one point.
Market players applauded Thursday’s gains in the three major U.S. market gauges, the Dow Jones industrial average, the Nasdaq composite index and the S&P 500, after the U.S. Senate passed a $2.2 trillion economic package to prop the economy up during the pandemic, brokers said.
Pressured by a fall in Dow futures in off-hours trading and the yen’s strengthening against the dollar, both of the Tokyo market indexes cut gains later in the morning.
In the afternoon, the market fluctuated within a narrow range in positive territory, thanks to rises in the Chinese and other Asian markets, brokers said.
But buying mounted toward the close, prompting the Nikkei into a sudden jump.
Some brokers noted that the underside of the Tokyo market was supported by active buying by Japanese pension funds, especially after the recent plunge in the Nikkei.
“A panic mood that had been prevailing in markets across the globe has been subdued for the moment,” said Chihiro Ota, general manager for investment research and investor services at SMBC Nikko Securities Inc.
Meanwhile, an official at a bank-affiliated securities firm noted that the Tokyo market’s upside was weighed down by dampened investor sentiment after the leaders of the European Union failed to agree on the issuance of so-called “coronabonds,” debt instrument that would combat the shock of the coronavirus pandemic.
Rising issues far outnumbered falling ones by 1,995 to 148, while 25 issues were unchanged on the TSE’s first section. Volume rose to 2.368 billion shares from Thursday’s 2.049 billion.
Financial issues, including mega-bank Mitsubishi UFJ and insurer Tokio Marine, attracted buying, following robust performances by their U.S. peers on Thursday.
Tokyo Electron, Advantest and other semiconductor-related issues rose, reflecting a climb in the SOX Philadelphia semiconductor index.
Drug manufacturer Otsuka Holdings surged 8.72 percent after Otsuka Pharmaceutical, a subsidiary, announced that it and Japan’s National Cancer Center jointly developed a genomic-profiling kit for hematologic malignancies.
Among other major winners were job information service firm Recruit Holdings and mobile phone carrier KDDI.
On the other hand, major losers included department store operator J. Front Retailing and cybermall operator Rakuten.
In index futures trading on the Osaka Exchange, the key June contract on the Nikkei average surged 720 points to end at 19,080.
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