• Jiji


The benchmark Nikkei average marked a 25-month closing high above 24,000 on Thursday, aided by an overnight Wall Street surge.

The Nikkei average of 225 selected issues listed on the first section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange advanced 410.05 points, or 1.73 percent, to close at 24,105.28, the highest closing level since Oct. 3, 2018. On Wednesday, the benchmark index surged 399.75 points.

The Topix index of all TSE first-section issues closed up 22.69 points, or 1.39 percent, at 1,649.94, after jumping 19.30 points the previous day.

The Tokyo market opened higher, encouraged by climbs in the Dow Jones industrial average and two other major U.S. stock indexes on Wednesday, on the back of reduced concerns over a corporate tax hike plan proposed by Democratic candidate Joe Biden in the U.S. presidential election.

Up until the start of the vote counting process on Tuesday, the market had expected a “triple blue” scenario, in which Democrats would win the presidency, as well as majority in both the Senate and the House of Representatives.

As Republicans are reported to be on course to maintain control of the Senate while Democrats are seen taking the majority in the House, concerns over the smooth introduction of the tax hike eased among market participants, brokers noted.

The Tokyo market was also supported by a rise in Dow futures in off-hours trading, as well as by the popularity of high-tech issues, including those related to the semiconductor sector, and of stocks in the medical sector.

After moving within a narrow range for the majority of the afternoon, weighed down by concerns that Republican President Donald Trump may cause a delay in the finalization of the U.S. election results, the market advanced further in late trading, thanks to a wave of buying in Nikkei futures, brokers said.

“The market, throughout the day, was also supported by a sense of relief among investors over the passage of an important event,” Maki Sawada, vice president of Nomura Securities Co.’s Investment Research & Investor Services Department, said, referring to the U.S. elections.

Sawada added, “Most investors, however, wanted to wait for the results of the elections to be confirmed.”

Gainers overwhelmed losers 1,543 to 574 in the TSE first section, with 62 issues unchanged. Volume increased to 1.344 billion shares from Wednesday’s 1.302 billion shares.

Semiconductor test device-maker Advantest, chipmaking gear manufacturer Tokyo Electron and other semiconductor-related issues attracted active buying, reflecting robust performances of their U.S. peers on Wednesday.

Pharmaceuticals also gained ground after news reports said that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has pointed to the efficacy of an Alzheimer’s disease drug codeveloped by U.S. pharmaceuticals firm Biogen and Japanese drugmaker Eisai, which surged 17.91 percent.

Seasoning producer Ajinomoto jumped 6.86 percent, thanks to the company’s better-than-expected profit forecasts for the year to March.

Among other major winners were footwear shop operator ABC-Mart and technology investor SoftBank Group.

On the other hand, office equipment manufacturer Ricoh and automaker Mitsubishi Motors went down.

In index futures trading on the Osaka Exchange, the key December contract on the Nikkei average rose 380 points to end at 24,120.

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