Tokyo stocks rose Wednesday, as a wide range of issues attracted buying amid growing hopes for economic recovery backed by progress in coronavirus vaccination.
The 225-issue Nikkei average of the Tokyo Stock Exchange gained 131.80 points, or 0.46%, to close at 28,946.14, in a turnaround from a drop of 45.74 points Tuesday.
The Topix index of all first section issues finished 16.15 points, or 0.84%, higher at 1,942.33, following a 3.20-point rise the previous day.
Stocks got off to a mixed start, after Wall Street failed to set a direction Tuesday. Some heavily weighted component issues of the Nikkei met with active selling at the outset.
But buying soon took the upper hand, as investors renewed appetite particularly for economically sensitive cyclicals in view of more and more people getting vaccinated in and outside Japan, brokers said.
The market saw brisk buying lose steam in the afternoon but stayed buoyant until the closing.
Amid the absence of major market-moving events, “selective purchases led to the day’s advance,” Maki Sawada, strategist at Nomura Securities Co., pointed out.
Trading was relatively calm with some players sitting on the fences ahead of the release Friday of the U.S. Labor Department’s employment report for May, she noted.
“On top of the slow but steady vaccination progress in Japan, eased business restrictions have made domestic demand-oriented stocks attractive,” said Hirohumi Yamamoto, strategist at Toyo Securities Co.
Since Tuesday, business closure requests for department stores and other large-scale commercial facilities have been eased in Tokyo and several other prefectures under the extended coronavirus state of emergency.
On the TSE first section, gainers outnumbered decliners 1,259 to 842 while 92 issues were unchanged. Volume increased to 1.248 billion shares from Tuesday’s 907 million shares.
Transporters enjoyed vigorous buying thanks to expectations for tourism demand recovery. Railway operator JR West surged 7.66% and peer JR East 6.03%, while airlines JAL and ANA jumped 3.46% and 3.19%, respectively.
Department stores soared, with Isetan Mitsukoshi up 4.40% and J. Front Retailing up 3.24%.
Resources developer INPEX shot up 4.15%, thanks to higher crude oil future prices.
On the other hand, semiconductor-sector issues were downbeat, dampened by the U.S. tech-heavy Nasdaq composite index’s fall Tuesday. Among the losers were chipmaking gear manufacturer Tokyo Electron and industrial robot producer Fanuc, both Nikkei’s heavyweight components.
Some other major Nikkei components, such as tech investor SoftBank Group and medical information provider M3, also suffered losses.
In index futures trading on the Osaka Exchange, the key June contract on the Nikkei average rose 200 points to end at 28,960.
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