TOKYO, Sept. 14 (Xinhua) -- Tokyo stocks closed higher Monday as Nikkei heavyweight SoftBank Group advanced after announcing it will sell its entire stake in British chip designer Arm Ltd., with sentiment also lifted by hopes for the domestic economy as Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga was widely expected to win the ruling party's election race.
The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average gained 152.81 points, or 0.65 percent, from Friday to close the day at 23,559.30.
The broader Topix index of all First Section issues on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, meanwhile, added 14.46 points, or 0.88 percent, to finish at 1,651.10.
Investors were in an upbeat mood from the get-go as as Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga was set to be elected as the new leader of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) of Japan and succeed Prime Minister Shinzo Abe as the nation's leader following almost certain parliamentary approval on Wednesday, market strategists here said.
They added that Suga's pledges to continue Abe's economic and other policies, rather than steer the ship in any drastically new directions, was a plus for the market as investors cheer stable domestic politics, with expectations for Suga's popularity with the public an added bonus.
"Suga is expected to establish an administration that can gain a high public approval rating as he secured strong support not only from parliamentarians but also from the LDP's local chapters in the party leadership race," Norihiro Fujito, senior investment strategist at Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities Co., was quoted as saying following Suga scoring an easy election win after markets here had closed.
Suga, with the backing of the majority of the LDP's factions, easily saw off his competition in the LDP's leadership race securing 377 votes, versus Fumio Kishida's 89 and Shigeru Ishiba's 68 votes.
Nikkei heavyweight SoftBank Group, meanwhile, helped buoy the broader market, after announcing it will sell its entire stake in British chip designer Arm Ltd. to U.S. semiconductor maker Nvidia Corp. in a move that could net the conglomerate up to 40 billion U.S. dollars to help offset investment losses, brokers here highlighted.
SoftBank Group surged 9.0 percent by the close, with air transportation issues also finding favor.
ANA Holdings rose 0.8 percent, while Japan Airlines closed 0.7 percent higher.
Pulp and paper-related issues also outperformed, with Nippon Paper Industries advancing 1.6 percent, while Pack Corp. jumped 3.7 percent.
Telecommunication companies bucked the upward trend, however, with KDDI sinking 3.0 percent, while NTT Docomo lost 2.7 percent.
By the close of play, pulp and paper, nonferrous metal and insurance-oriented issues comprised those that gained the most, and issues that advanced outpaced those that fell by 1,619 to 471 on the First Section, while 83 ended the day unchanged.
On the main section on Monday, 1.176 billion shares changed hands, dropping from Friday's volume of 1.297 billion shares.
The turnover on the first trading day of the week came to 2.198 trillion yen (20.732 billion U.S. dollars). Enditem