Tokyo stocks close sharply higher on China's factory data, hopes for anti-virus drug

Source: Xinhua| 2020-04-30 20:06:34|Editor: huaxia

TOKYO, April 30 (Xinhua) -- Tokyo stocks closed sharply higher Thursday as investor sentiment was lifted by solid Chinese factory data and hopes for an antiviral drug which has sent U.S. stocks higher overnight.

The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average added 422.50 points, or 2.14 percent, from Tuesday to close the day at 20,193.69.

The broader Topix index of all First Section issues on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, meanwhile, gained 14.88 points, or 1.03 percent, at 1,464.03.

Markets here were closed on Wednesday for a national holiday.

Trading got off to a bright start, local brokers said, as investors took their cues from U.S. shares rising overnight following reports that clinical trials in the U.S. of an antiviral drug had positive results in treating COVID-19 patients.

"The encouraging development stirred expectations for an earlier containment of the pandemic. It would consequently help an economic recovery as moves to lift the restrictions caused by the virus have been accelerating around the globe," Shingo Ide, chief equity strategist at NLI Research, was quoted as saying.

Adding to an upbeat mood, which saw the Nikkei break the 20,000 threshold for the first time since March 6, was data showing solid manufacturing activity in China, as the world's second-largest economy recovers from the downside effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

Brokers here said that investor sentiment was further buoyed by some countries beginning to tentatively loosen their virus-related lockdown requirements and allow some businesses to resume their activities, although they showed a muted reaction to reports that Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe may extend Japan's state of emergency over the coronavirus past the May 6 deadline.

They maintained that such a scenario in Japan had already been largely factored in.

On hopes of a global economic recovery, cyclical issues and electronics makers found favor, with industrial robotics maker Fanuc and Yaskawa Electric both jumping 5.6 percent, while TDK gained 5.4 percent.

Steelmakers also gained on similar hopes, with Nippon Steel climbing 4.7 percent, Japan Steel Works adding 3.0 percent, and Kobe Steel surging 6.1 percent.

Energy-linked issues advanced on rising prices for crude oil. Exploration giant Inpex Corp. gained 5.1 percent, while Japan Petroleum Exploration Co. Ltd. ended the day 2.3 percent higher.

Bucking the upward trend, however, NTT Docomo Inc. closed in negative territory dropping 4.5 percent, after announcing a 10.9 percent decline in net profit for the year ended in March due to the adverse effects of the virus pandemic.

By the close of play, mining, securities house, and iron and steel-linked issues comprised those that advanced the most, and issues that rose beat those that fell by 1,490 to 630 on the First Section, while 51 ended the day unchanged.

On the main section on Thursday, 1.717 billion shares changed hands, rising from Tuesday's volume of 1.233 billion shares.

The turnover on the penultimate trading day of the week came to 3.058 trillion yen (28.700 billion U.S. dollars). Enditem