• Jiji


Tokyo stocks turned sharply higher Monday as sentiment improved thanks to continued advances on Wall Street.

The Nikkei average of 225 selected issues on the first section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange soared 521.22 points, or 2.71 percent, to end at 19,783.22, after falling 167.44 points Friday.

The Topix index of all first-section issues closed up 25.96 points, or 1.83 percent, at 1,447.25. It lost 4.69 points the previous trading day.

From the outset, market participants rushed to buy so-called cyclical stocks vulnerable to economic conditions, particularly technology issues such as industrial robot producer Fanuc and chip-testing device manufacturer Advantest.

They took heart from all three major U.S. stock price gauges, including the Dow Jones industrial average, extending gains Friday on the back of heightened hopes for additional economic measures signed by U.S. President Donald Trump and the discovery of a new effective treatment in the fight against the novel coronavirus, brokers said.

The market was further lifted in the afternoon by rises in other Asian stocks as well as Dow futures in off-hours trading, they noted.

Masahiro Ichikawa, senior strategist at Sumitomo Mitsui DS Asset Management Co., pointed out that economically sensitive stocks drew popularity after Fanuc posted better-than-expected order receipts for January-March late last week .

Also with the company’s business outlook suggesting Chinese demand recovery, “expectations grew for other Japanese firms to release rosier earnings forecasts later this week,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Bank of Japan’s additional easing measures adopted at Monday’s Policy Board meeting, including the removal of the annual ¥80 trillion cap on the central bank’s purchases of Japanese government bonds, had little impact on the market because it was not surprising, he added.

On the first section, winners overwhelmed losers 1,752 to 369 while 49 issues were unchanged. Volume fell to 1.247 billion shares from Friday’s 1.327 million shares.

Fanuc rocketed 11.95 percent.

Advantest’s jump on its better-than-expected earnings for the business year that ended in March also sent other stocks in the semiconductor sector higher. Among them were chip-making gear manufacturer Tokyo Electron and wafer producer Shin-Etsu Chemical.

Hitachi Zosen advanced 3.90 percent, after the shipbuilder revised up its operating profit and net profit estimates for the year that ended in March.

Other major winners included air conditioner maker Daikin and technology investor SoftBank Group.

On the other hand, drug maker Chugai and railway operator Keio sank, along with Tokyo Gas and some other utilities.

In index futures trading on the Osaka Exchange, the key June contract on the Nikkei average surged 530 points to end at 19,720.

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