The benchmark Nikkei average bounced back to finish at the highest level in about 7½ months on the Tokyo Stock Exchange on Thursday, thanks to an overnight upswing in U.S. equities.
The 225-issue Nikkei average of the TSE climbed 224.25 points, or 0.96 percent, to close at 23,647.07, the highest finish since Feb. 14, after losing 10.91 points Wednesday.
The Topix index of all first section issues closed up 9.00 points, or 0.55 percent, at 1,655.47, following a 0.72-point climb the previous day.
Major gains on Wall Street following U.S. President Donald Trump’s call for partial stimulus measures pulled up the Tokyo market at the opening bell.
Stocks added gains in the morning, tracing the ascent of U.S. Dow Jones Industrial Average futures in off-hours trading, brokers said. Although their rises tapered off by early afternoon, Tokyo equities managed to hold on to their earlier gains for the rest of the day.
The debate between U.S. vice presidential candidates Mike Pence and Kamala Harris was nationally televised in the country Wednesday, during the morning trading hours in Tokyo on Thursday. Masahiro Ichikawa, senior strategist at Sumitomo Mitsui DS Asset Management Co., said that the matchup’s effects on the market were limited as it did not produce any decisive result that would change the course of the race.
Democratic Party presidential candidate Joe Biden currently leads Trump of the Republican Party in many polls.
Maki Sawada, vice president of Nomura Securities Co.’s Investment Research & Investor Services Department, said that stock markets are underpinned by expectations for a Biden victory. Increased uncertainties about the presidential race would have pushed down stocks, Sawada added.
The U.S. Democratic Party’s positive attitude toward Trump’s call for coronavirus relief measures limited to the airline industry also raised investor confidence, Ichikawa said.
On the first section, gainers outnumbered losers 1,294 to 790 with 95 issues unchanged. Volume rose to 1.029 billion shares from Wednesday’s 932 million shares.
Semiconductor firms Tokyo Electron and Lasertec Corp. rose 3.70 percent and 6.54 percent, respectively.
Economically sensitive sectors such as the shipping and steel industries also drew buying.
Other winners included GMO Internet Inc. and Mitsubishi Estate Co.
On the other hand, ANA Holdings Inc. fell after news of a wage cut plan that was presented by the airline to the labor union side due to major losses amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Retailers Aeon Co. and Welcia Holdings Co. both stumbled after respectively releasing earnings for the quarter that ended in August.
In index futures trading on the Osaka Exchange, the key December contract on the Nikkei average gained 220 points from Wednesday to end at 23,630.