Tokyo stocks turned modestly higher Friday, thanks to a Wall Street rise and receded concerns over U.S.-China relations.
The 225-issue Nikkei average of the Tokyo Stock Exchange gained 39.68 points, or 0.17 percent, to end at 22,920.30, in a turnaround from a 229.99-point plunge Thursday.
The Topix index of all first-section issues closed up 4.86 points, or 0.30 percent, at 1,604.06, after shedding 14.53 points the previous day.
Investors rushed to buy back stocks immediately after the opening bell, in the wake of all three major U.S. market gauges turning up Thursday. Among them, the tech-heavy Nasdaq composite index rewrote its record closing high.
Sentiment was also brightened by the Chinese commerce ministry’s announcement Thursday that Beijing and Washington will hold talks to review their “phase one” trade deal in the coming days, brokers said.
The Nikkei retook 23,000 in early morning and early afternoon trading. But the key index failed to stay above the psychologically important threshold, pressured by the yen’s firming against the dollar, according to brokers.
The market lacked vigor in the afternoon amid a dearth of fresh trading incentives.
“The morning rally was also triggered by the latest announcement by Pfizer and BioNTech” suggesting smooth progress in clinical trials on a novel coronavirus vaccine that the U.S. and German drugmakers are jointly developing, Masahiro Ichikawa, senior strategist at Sumitomo Mitsui DS Asset Management Co., said.
An official at a major securities firm pointed out that the Nikkei “came under profit-taking pressure after crossing the 23,000-line ahead of the weekend.”
On the first section, rising issues far outnumbered falling ones 1,330 to 718 with 124 issues unchanged. Volume crept down to 910 million shares from Thursday’s 945 million shares.
Nippon Paint Holdings Co. rocketed 6.52 percent in response to news reports that Singaporean peer Wuthelam will acquire the Japanese company.
Children’s clothing retailer Nishimatsuya Chain Co. shot up 4.33 percent, after upgrading its earnings outlook for the February-August first half as well as for the full year.
Medical information services provider M3 Inc. and game-maker Nintendo Co. were also in the green.
On the other hand, Gree Inc. plunged 10.45 percent, as investors were disappointed at the mobile game site operator’s poor business performance in the year that ended in June.
Among other major losers were technology and entertainment giant Sony Corp. and convenience store chain FamilyMart Co.
In index futures trading on the Osaka Exchange, the key September contract on the Nikkei average rose 20 points to end at 22,900.
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