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Tokyo stocks close up for third straight session

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index edged up 0.17 percent, or 46.78 points, to 28,364.61. (AFP)
The benchmark Nikkei 225 index edged up 0.17 percent, or 46.78 points, to 28,364.61. (AFP)
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24 May 2021 05:05:54 GMT9
24 May 2021 05:05:54 GMT9

Tokyo stocks closed higher for a third consecutive session on Monday as investors welcomed the opening of Japan’s first mass vaccination centres.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index edged up 0.17 percent, or 46.78 points, to 28,364.61, while the broader Topix index rose 0.44 percent, or 8.35 points, to 1,913.04.

“The opening of the mass vaccination centres is positive news as investors have been concerned about the slow movement of Japan’s vaccination programme,” Toshikazu Horiuchi, a broker at IwaiCosmo Securities, told AFP.

The two military-run centres opened in Tokyo and Osaka on Monday to administer thousands of shots daily, initially to elderly residents of the cities.

Trading, however, is expected to remain cautious for now with investors eyeing the expected extension of a virus state of emergency in several Japanese regions, including Tokyo, as the country battles a fourth wave of virus cases.

Investors were also paying attention to movements in bitcoin’s price after the world’s most popular cryptocurrency went through wild gyrations last week.

“As we open for the week, eyes will remain on the crypto space with bitcoin down,” as China looks to step up its crackdown on bitcoin while Washington considers improving the transparency of transactions, said Tapas Strickland, director of economics and markets at National Australia Bank.

The dollar fetched 108.74 yen in Asian afternoon trade, against 108.95 yen in New York on Friday.

Toyota jumped 1.05 percent to 8,835 yen on hopes for strong earnings, as rival Nissan gained 0.88 percent to 532.8 yen.
But SoftBank Group dropped 2.33 percent to 8,315 yen as Sony lost 0.14 percent to 10,510 yen.

Japanese dating app operator Net Marketing plunged 19.34 percent to 417 yen after it said personal data of its users had likely been leaked.

SBI Holdings lost 2.66 percent to 2,703 yen following reports that authorities would soon order a unit of the online financial firm to suspend operations over alleged illegal soliciting from investors.

SBI on Monday announced plans to close down the unit.

AFP

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