• Jiji


Tokyo stocks bounced back Wednesday thanks to an overnight Wall Street rise, although the market was under pressure from a stronger yen.

The benchmark 225-issue Nikkei average climbed 69.56 points, or 0.26%, to close at 26,757.40, after giving up 44.60 points Tuesday.

The Topix index of all first-section issues advanced 4.78 points, or 0.27%, to end at 1,786.83, following its 8.47-point drop the previous day.

The market started firmer, with investors encouraged by rises in all three major U.S. stock price gauges, including the tech-heavy Nasdaq composite index, on Tuesday.

Sentiment slightly improved on the back of hopes for an early breakthrough in stalled talks on a U.S. coronavirus relief package after Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi reportedly met Tuesday to discuss the matter, brokers said.

The Nikkei gained as much as about 187 points soon after the opening, but failed to extend the gains later due to profit-taking and the yen’s strengthening against the dollar.

The market was also weighed down by a fall in U.S. Dow Jones industrial average futures in off-hours trading.

Supported by rises in other Asian stock markets, however, both the Nikkei and Topix indexes remained in positive terrain in the afternoon, although they were confined to narrow ranges amid a lack of fresh incentives.

“Investors were generally in a wait-and-see mood ahead of the end of the two-day meeting of the U.S. Federal Reserve’s Federal Open Market Committee on Wednesday,” Maki Sawada, vice president of Nomura Securities Co.’s Investment Research & Investor Services Department, said, referring to the day’s lethargic trading on the Tokyo market.

She added that market players are also waiting for U.S. retail sales data for November, also due out that day.

Despite the price indexes’ higher closings, falling issues slightly outnumbered rising ones 1,083 to 1,000 on the Tokyo Stock Exchange first section, while 99 issues were unchanged. Volume decreased to 1.110 billion shares from Tuesday’s 1.118 billion shares.

Issues related to Apple Inc., including electronic parts producers Alps Alpine and TDK, attracted active buying, thanks to the U.S. technology giant’s surge on the Nasdaq market Tuesday, which came in response to media reports that the company is considering boosting the production of its iPhone smartphones in the first half of 2021 by 30% from a year before.

Makers of heavy machinery IHI and Mitsubishi Heavy extended their winning streaks to a sixth session, following media reports that the Japanese government’s defense spending is expected to increase significantly in fiscal 2021.

Mitsubishi Heavy has also been sought out because it will reportedly lead a project to develop a next-generation fighter jet model for the Self-Defense Forces.

Game-maker Nintendo and technology investor SoftBank Group also went up.

Losers included cosmetics maker Shiseido and chipmaking gear-maker Tokyo Electron.

In index futures trading on the Osaka Exchange, the key March contract on the Nikkei average gained 40 points to 26,670.

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