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Tokyo: Shares rise to near 3-month high as Japan reopens economy

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[SYDNEY] Japanese stocks climbed on Tuesday to their highest in nearly three months as investors cheered Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's decision to lift the state of emergency and end coronavirus-induced restrictions nationwide.

The benchmark Nikkei average advanced 2.6 per cent to 21,271.17, its highest close since March 5, with air and land transport companies leading the rally.

Mr Abe said late Monday that the state of emergency would be lifted for all of Japan, including Tokyo and its surrounding areas, and that the country managed to get the outbreak under control in under two months.

Getting greater Tokyo, which accounts for about one-third of Japan's gross domestic product, back on its feet is vital to the country's overall economic recovery.

Analysts suspect some foreign investors bought back stock futures for loss-cutting as the Nikkei rose above 21,000, their estimated cost of selling.

The broader Topix gained 2.2 per cent to 1,534.73, its highest close since Feb 28, with all 33 sector sub-indexes on the Tokyo exchange finishing higher.

Air transport was the best performing sector on the main bourse for the second day in a row, with Japan Airlines and ANA Holdings soaring 8.2 per cent and 5.7 per cent, respectively.

West Japan Railway jumped 8.3 per cent and Central Japan Railway Co advanced 5.2 per cent, also supported by hopes of demand rebound following the reopening.

Isetan Mitsukoshi Holdings climbed 5.1 per cent after the department store operator said it would reopen its main stores in the Tokyo area, including its Isetan flagship in Shinjuku.

AnGes surged 10.5 per cent after the Nikkei business daily reported the bio-pharma venture was set to begin a clinical trial of a Covid-19 vaccine in July, raising hopes that the medication could secure government approval by the end of this year.

REUTERS

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