Tokyo stocks bounced back on Thursday, with investors applauding an overnight rebound in the U.S. technology issues.
The 225-issue Nikkei average of the Tokyo Stock Exchange rose 202.93 points, or 0.88 percent, to end at 23,235.47, in a turnaround from a 241.59-point fall Wednesday.
The Topix index of all first section issues closed up 19.46 points, or 1.21 percent, at 1,624.86, after shedding 15.49 points the previous day.
A wide range of issues on the Tokyo market attracted buybacks from the outset of Thursday’s trading, following rises in the tech-heavy Nasdaq composite index and other key U.S. market yardsticks Wednesday, which were supported by a strong performance of the tech sector.
Investor sentiment was also brightened by media reports related to novel coronavirus vaccines, including a news report that the suspended trials of a vaccine developed by AstraZeneca PLC may be resumed next week, brokers said.
Supported by gains in other Asian stocks, both the Nikkei and Topix indexes fluctuated in narrow ranges way above Wednesday’s closing levels in the afternoon.
“Trading, in general, was thin as many market players were reluctant to engage in trading amid a lack of fresh trading incentives,” Masahiro Ichikawa, senior strategist at Sumitomo Mitsui DS Asset Management Co., said.
Noting that the stock market’s main driver has been the monetary easing policies of central banks around the world, an official at a major securities firm said, “With many market participants adopting a wait-and-see mood ahead of meetings of the Bank of Japan’s Policy Board and the U.S. Federal Reserve’s Federal Open Market Committee next week, the Nikkei is expected to be range-bound for a while.”
Rising issues far outnumbered falling ones 1,523 to 562 in the TSE’s first section, while 87 issues were unchanged. Volume fell to 1.151 billion shares from Wednesday’s 1.360 billion shares.
Megabank group Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc., insurer Tokio Marine Holdings Inc. and other financials attracted buying on the back of higher U.S. long-term interest rates.
Shochiku Co. rose 1.85 percent, in response to a media report that the movie distributor will form a business tie-up with messaging app provider Line Corp. to stream its movies and kabuki performances online.
Industrial robot producer Fanuc Corp. and technology investor SoftBank Group Corp. also went up.
On the other hand, major losers included convenience store chain FamilyMart Co. and soy sauce producer Kikkoman Corp.
In index futures trading on the Osaka Exchange, the key September contract on the Nikkei average gained 280 points to end at 23,250.