• Jiji


Tokyo stocks advanced for the third consecutive session on Wednesday, thanks to an overnight rise on Wall Street.

The 225-issue Nikkei average surged 284.33 points, or 1.00%, to close at 28,646.50, after jumping 271.12 points on Tuesday.

The Topix index of all first section issues ended 24.07 points, or 1.30%, higher at 1,871.09 following a 17.18-point rise the previous day.

The Tokyo market spurted from the outset of Wednesday’s trading, reflecting avid buying on the back of rises in key U.S. stock indexes Tuesday, with the Nikkei gaining over 300 points briefly in the morning.

The U.S. market advance partly reflected anticipation for a fresh coronavirus relief package by the U.S. government, after Democrats started on Tuesday moves to pass the package without help from Republicans, brokers said.

Buying sentiment was also stimulated by the U.S. government’s announcement that it will start supplying retail pharmacies in the country with novel coronavirus vaccines from Feb. 11, according to brokers.

Weighed down by mounting profit-taking pressure, the Nikkei and Topix indexes fluctuated within narrow ranges on the sunny side in the afternoon.

Investors’ sentiment improved “as they viewed that the excessive speculative trading by individual investors (that had thrown the U.S. market into disarray) has calmed down for now,” Kazuo Kamitani, strategist at Nomura Securities Co., said.

Meanwhile, a strategist at an asset management firm noted, “Market participants in the afternoon were waiting for the releases later on Wednesday of Automatic Data Processing Inc.’s U.S. employment data for January and the U.S. nonmanufacturing purchasing managers’ index for the same month by the Institute for Supply Management.”

In the TSE first section, gainers overwhelmed losers 1,593 to 522, while 76 issues were unchanged. Volume increased to 1.374 billion shares from Tuesday’s 1.168 billion shares.

JAL went up for the third consecutive session, reflecting hopes for a recovery in travel demand after Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said Tuesday that his government will lift the extended state of emergency before the March 7 expiration if the coronavirus infection situation shows improvement.

Issues in the Toyota group gained ground after affiliates of the leading Japanese automaker revised up their earnings forecasts for the year ending in March, with Toyota gaining 4.39% and auto parts supplier Denso climbing 3.94%.

Panasonic advanced 3.84%, following the electronics maker’s better-than-expected revised operating profit forecast for the current business year to March.

Also on the plus side were optical equipment-maker Olympus and medical equipment-maker Terumo.

On the other hand, parcel delivery firm Yamato Holdings and semiconductor testing device manufacturer Advantest were among major names that suffered falls.

In index futures trading on the Osaka Exchange, the key March contract on the Nikkei average leaped 280 points to end at 28,640.

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