• Jiji


Tokyo stocks bounced back sharply Wednesday, on the back of hopes for the development of a novel coronavirus vaccine and of an overnight Wall Street climb.

The 225-issue Nikkei average of the Tokyo Stock Exchange gained 358.49 points, or 1.59 percent, to end at 22,945.50 in a turnaround from a 197.73-point fall Tuesday.

The Topix index of all TSE first section issues advanced 24.36 points, or 1.56 percent, to close at 1,589.51, following a 7.87-point drop the previous day.

The Tokyo market enjoyed a strong start, thanks to rises in all three major U.S. stock price gauges including the Dow Jones Industrial Average on Tuesday.

Investors also took to heart Moderna Inc.’s announcement before the opening bell that its potential coronavirus vaccine produced antibodies in all patients in an early-stage trial, brokers said.

Supported by gains in Dow futures in off-hours trading and in other major Asian stock markets outside China, the key Tokyo market indexes fluctuated far above Tuesday’s closing levels in the afternoon.

“The Nikkei turned top-heavy as it approached the 23,000 line, due to spikes in the number of new coronavirus cases in Tokyo and southern U.S. states,” said Maki Sawada, vice president of Nomura Securities Co.’s Investment Research & Investor Services Department.

Many market players were also waiting for earnings releases for April-June by Japanese companies, she added.

Rising issues far outnumbered falling ones 1,860 to 260 in the TSE’s first section, while 51 issues were unchanged. Volume increased to 1.245 billion shares from Tuesday’s 1.096 billion shares.

Export-oriented companies, including automaker Toyota Motor Corp. and electronics parts supplier Murata Manufacturing Co., attracted buying, reflecting hopes for a recovery in the global economy.

Inpex Corp., Idemitsu Kosan Co. and other oil names also rose, following robust performances of their U.S. peers on Tuesday.

Among other major winners were clothing store chain Fast Retailing Co. and convenience store chain FamilyMart Co.

On the other hand, a handful of losers included drugmaker Eisai Co. and Tokyo Gas Co.

In index futures trading on the Osaka Exchange, the key September contract on the Nikkei average surged 380 points to end at 22,950.

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