• Jiji


Tokyo stocks rose for the third straight session Thursday, in the wake of rallies in overseas markets.

The Nikkei average of 225 selected issues listed on the first section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange jumped 175.08 points, or 0.60%, to finish at 29,211.64, after registering a modest gain of 8.62 points Wednesday.

The Topix index of all first-section issues closed 5.18 points, or 0.27%, higher at 1,924.92, following a 2.06-point rise the previous day.

Stocks got off to a mixed start, sandwiched between selling of technology names spurred by falls in the U.S. Nasdaq composite and SOX Philadelphia semiconductor indexes and buying of economically sensitive cyclicals.

The buying of cyclicals came after the U.S. House of Representatives passed President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package Wednesday to enable Biden to sign off the massive spending program on Friday, brokers said.

The market added to gains later in the morning, thanks to rallies in China and other Asian markets and a rise in the U.S. index futures contract on the Dow Jones industrial average, which rewrote its all-time closing high for the first time in two weeks the previous day.

In the afternoon, the Topix index dipped into negative terrain as many stocks came under profit-taking pressure, while the benchmark Nikkei remained buoyant.

The Nikkei was able to extend gains amid a growing wait-and-see mood in the afternoon “thanks almost entirely to the popularity of Fast Retailing,” a heavily weighted component stock, a strategist at an asset management firm said.

“Investors retreated to the sidelines to wait for European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde’s remarks,” particularly on interest rates, at a news conference after the ECB’s policy meeting to be held later on Thursday, said Maki Sawada, strategist at Nomura Securities Co.

On the first section, gainers far outnumbered decliners 1,558 to 570, while 67 issues were unchanged. Volume decreased marginally to 1.377 billion shares from Wednesday’s 1.393 billion shares.

Clothing retailer Fast Retailing soared 3.35%.

Komatsu extended its winning streak to a fifth session, after Mizuho Securities Co. raised its target price for the construction machinery-maker.

Kawasaki Heavy Industries was sent higher by a media report that the company will take part in developing Japan’s next-generation fighter plane.

Among other major winners were shipping firm Kawasaki Kisen and toilet-maker Toto.

On the other hand, airlines JAL and ANA fell on their reported plans to suspend reservations for some international flights as part of measures to prevent the further spread of novel coronavirus variants.

In index futures trading on the Osaka Exchange, the key March contract on the Nikkei average gained 250 points to end at 29,230.

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