Tokyo stocks rebounded Monday as investors gained optimism over the U.S. president’s health condition.
The 225-issue Nikkei average of the Tokyo Stock Exchange finished at 23,312.14, up 282.24 points, or 1.23 percent, from Friday, when the key index slid 155.22 points. The Nikkei rose for the first time in three sessions.
The Topix index of all TSE first section issues climbed 28.03 points, or 1.74 percent, at 1,637.25, following a 16.27-point fall in the previous trading day.
Stocks got off to a strong start, erasing much of their falls seen Friday afternoon when media reports revealed that President Donald Trump and his wife, Melania, tested positive for the coronavirus.
The Tokyo market was buoyed by news that Trump may be released from hospital as early as Monday, brokers said.
The Nikkei held steady in positive territory in the afternoon, also propped up by a rise in U.S. Dow Jones Industrial Average futures in off-hours trading, they said.
Masahiro Ichikawa, senior strategist at Sumitomo Mitsui DS Asset Management Co., said that investors’ “excessive caution” about Trump’s health has waned.
Market sentiment also drew support from comments by U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi suggesting an acceleration of talks over a new stimulus package by the U.S. government.
Investors’ expectations for additional U.S. economic measures slightly beat lingering worries about Trump’s condition, Chihiro Ota, general manager for investment research and investor services at SMBC Nikko Securities Inc., said.
At the same time, Ota said investors were playing it safe as a potential change in the president’s health condition may drastically alter market sentiment.
On the TSE first section, rising issues overwhelmed falling ones 1,905 to 226, while 46 issues were unchanged.
First-section volume decreased to 1.046 billion shares from Friday’s 1.484 billion shares.
The transportation sector got a boost after trips to and from Tokyo were included in the government’s Go To Travel tourism promotion campaign Thursday. Railway operators West Japan Railway Co. and Central Japan Railway Co. scaled 5.78 pct and 6.22 pct, respectively, while airlines ANA Holdings Inc. and Japan Airlines Co. also scored sizable gains.
Tepco rose after reports that the power supplier is planning to load nuclear fuel into the No. 7 reactor at Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear power plant in central Japan ahead of the resumption of its operations.
Other winners included SoftBank Group Corp., Sony Corp. and automakers Honda Motor Co. and Hino Motors.
Meanwhile, some technology firms succumbed to selling pressure following Friday’s declines of tech names on Wall Street. Among them, Tokyo Electron fell 1.60 percent and CyberAgent Inc. slid 1.42 percent.
JPX, the TSE’s parent company, stayed under selling pressure following the glitch-caused halt of all stock trading on the exchange Thursday.
Among other major losers were cell phone carrier KDDI Corp. and optical equipment-maker Olympus Corp.
In index futures trading on the Osaka Exchange, the key December contract on the Nikkei average gained 300 points from Friday to end at 23,280.