• Jiji


Tokyo stocks rebounded Wednesday with sentiment brightened chiefly by U.S. shares’ broad-based advance.

The benchmark 225-issue Nikkei average soared 350.86 points, or 1.33%, to close at a fresh 29-year high of 26,817.94, after sinking for three sessions in a row. On Tuesday, the key index lost 80.36 points.

The Topix index of all first-section issues closed up 20.61 points, or 1.17%, at 1,779.42, following a 1.94-point fall the previous day.

The market made a vigorous start, after the U.S. Dow Jones industrial average turned higher along with the S&P 500 index and the tech-heavy Nasdaq composite index rewrote its all-time closing high for the fourth straight market day amid heightened expectations for an early coronavirus relief package deal in the United States.

Buying sentiment was also strengthened by developments suggesting progress in the global fight against the virus, including Britain’s rollout Tuesday of the BioNTech-Pfizer vaccine and the U.S Food and Drug Administration’s release of a report supporting early findings that the same vaccine is highly effective and safe, brokers said.

Shrugging off selling to lock in profits, stocks extended their gains in the afternoon.

“Investors have been greatly heartened by the start of the first mass coronavirus vaccination in a developed country,” an official at a mid-sized securities firm said.

“Hopes for a fresh U.S. stimulus package’s early implementation were swelled by media reports that Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin offered a compromise plan to Democrats,” said Masahiro Ichikawa, chief market strategist at Sumitomo Mitsui DS Asset Management Co.

Meanwhile, Ichikawa pointed out that profit-takers prevented the Nikkei from breaching the 27,000 threshold.

On the TSE’s first section, gainers outnumbered decliners 1,457 to 625 while 97 issues remained unchanged. Volume rose to 1.096 billion shares from Tuesday’s 1.029 billion shares.

Technology investor SoftBank Group surged 5.57% on a news report about the company’s plan to gradually buy back shares to go private.

Hino leaped 4.19% thanks to the Tokai Tokyo Research Institute’s lifting of its target stock price for the truck-maker.

Industrial robot producer Fanuc jumped 2.98%, benefiting from better-than-expected core machinery orders in Japan in October.

Among other leading gainers were optical equipment-maker Olympus and job information provider Recruit Holdings.

On the other hand, major losers included beverage producer Kirin Holdings and parcel delivery firm Yamato Holdings.

In index futures trading on the Osaka Exchange, the key December contract on the Nikkei average climbed 370 points to end at 26,860.

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