Tokyo stocks extended gains sharply Tuesday, buoyed by expectations for the early development of a vaccine for COVID-19.
The Nikkei 225 average advanced 299.72 points, or 1.49 percent, to end at 20,433.45. On Monday, the key index climbed 96.26 points.
The Topix, which covers all first-section issues on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, closed 26.76 points, or 1.83 percent, higher at 1,486.05 after rising 5.52 points Monday.
The market surged from the opening bell, encouraged by the Dow Jones Industrial Average’s substantial gain of over 900 points Monday, with the Nikkei soaring more than 500 points at one point.
The U.S. market surge mainly reflected optimism over a possible vaccine for COVID-19, which was fueled by U.S. biopharmaceutical firm Moderna Inc.’s announcement that its experimental drug showed promising results in early trials, brokers said.
Pressured by selling to lock in profits, both of the main TSE indexes moved within narrow ranges throughout the rest of the day.
“The market saw a mixture of expectations for the development of a coronavirus vaccine and fears over a possible second wave of infections,” with many countries resuming economic activities, said Masahiro Ichikawa, senior strategist at Sumitomo Mitsui DS Asset Management Co.
He added that the market was top heavy as many investors remained wary of the coronavirus vaccine news as the trials are still in the early stage.
Rising issues far outnumbered falling ones 1,678 to 426 in the first section, while 66 issues were unchanged. Volume increased to 1.589 billion shares from 1.210 billion Monday.
Airlines JAL and ANA Holdings surged 3.19 percent and 2.58 percent, respectively, thanks to the brisk performance of their U.S. peers Monday.
Sony Financial soared 16.86 percent in response to a news report that technology and entertainment giant Sony will turn the insurer into a wholly owned unit.
Pub chain Torikizoku rose 2.81 percent after the company said it will reopen some of its directly run outlets in Osaka, Aichi and other prefectures Tuesday.
Also on the positive side were electronic parts maker TDK and job information service firm Recruit Holdings.
On the other hand, technology investor SoftBank Group and food producer Meiji Holdings came under selling.
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