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Nikkei hits 1 month high on coronavirus treatment hopes

13 Jul 2020
Tokyo stocks bounced back, fueled by coronavirus treatment hopes. (AFP)
Tokyo stocks bounced back, fueled by coronavirus treatment hopes. (AFP)
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Updated 13 Jul 2020
13 Jul 2020

TOKYO: Tokyo stocks bounced back on July 13  due to optimism over a novel coronavirus treatment and a rise in Chinese stocks, pushing up the benchmark Nikkei average to the highest closing level in about a month.

The Nikkei average of 225 selected issues listed on the first section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange surged 493.93 points, or 2.22 percent, to end at 22,784.74— the highest finish since June 10, after shedding 238.48 points on July 10. 

The TOPIX index of all TSE first-section issues advanced 37.82 points, or 2.46 percent, to 1,573.02, following a 22.04-point drop the previous trading day.

The Tokyo market enjoyed a strong start, supported by buybacks on the heels of a Wall Street rally on July 10 that was fueled by expectations for the development of a coronavirus treatment, brokers said.

Reassured by rises in Chinese stocks, both the Nikkei and TOPIX indexes climbed further in the late morning and remained far above closing levels for the rest of the day on July 10. 

“Investor sentiment was buoyed by an announcement on July 10 by Gilead Sciences Inc. that its antiviral drug remdesivir can reduce the risk of death among COVID-19 patients,” Masahiro Ichikawa, senior strategist at Sumitomo Mitsui DS Asset Management Co. said.

“In order for the Nikkei to retake 23,000, market players will need to look at a string of (quarterly) earnings reports that will be released soon (by Japanese companies),” an official at a midsized securities firm said.

Rising issues far outnumbered falling ones 2,032 to 126 in the TSE’s first section, while 13 issues were unchanged. Volume decreased to 1,215 million shares from the 1,337 million shares on July 10

Megabank group, Sumitomo Mitsu, and other financial issues attracted buying, thanks to a rise in US long-term interest rates on July 10.

Onward Holdings jumped 6.69 percent, in response to a news report that the apparel maker will join with online fashion marketplace operator, Zozo.

Among other major winners, were technology and entertainment giant, Sony, and industrial robot producer, Fanuc.

On the other hand, retailer Ryohin Keikaku fell 1.53 percent, after announcing late last week that its US arm has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

Chipmaking gear manufacturer, Tokyo Electron and technology firm, Fujifilm Holdings, also came under selling.

In index futures trading on the Osaka Exchange, the key September contract on the Nikkei average climbed 420 points to end at 22,710.

JIJI Press 

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