Tokyo stocks close higher on virus hopes

Tokyo stocks closed higher Monday on expectations the state of emergency will be lifted for the whole nation, including economic powerhouse Tokyo.

Tokyo stocks close higher on virus hopes
A man walks past an electronic quotation board displaying share prices of the Tokyo Stock Exchange in Tokyo on May 22, 2020. Tokyo shares opened nearly flat on May 22 after falls on Wall Street, with investors eyeing the opening of China's National People's Congress. AFP
The benchmark Nikkei 225 index rose 1.73 percent, or 353.49 points, to end at 20,741.65, while the broader Topix index advanced 1.65 percent, or 24.40 points, to 1,502.20.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's government is expected to end the state of emergency for Tokyo later Monday, after last week lifting it for the western Osaka region.

"Investor sentiment was supported by the improvement of the coronavirus situation (in Japan) and hopes for economic activity with the government's supplementary budget," Okasan Online Securities chief strategist Yoshihiro Ito said in a note. 

There are still concerns though, including worries about a second coronavirus wave in Japan and ongoing US-China tensions, said Hideyuki Ishiguro, senior strategist at Daiwa Securities.

In Tokyo, major shares were higher, with Uniqlo casual wear operator Fast Retailing jumping 3.07 percent to 54,630 yen.

Airlines were gainers, with Japan Airlines surging 9.40 percent to 2,064 yen and All Nippon Airways 7.59 percent to 2,578.5 yen.

Honda rose 4.24 percent to 2,630 yen, while Toyota was up 1.49 percent to 6,383 yen. 

Sony dipped 0.33 percent to 6,750 yen, while Nintendo lost 0.62 percent to 44,600 yen.

Fujifilm, whose anti-flu drug Avigan is being tested for treating coronavirus patients, dropped 2.77 percent to 4,808 yen.

The dollar fetched 107.72 yen in Asian trade, and 107.56 yen in New York on Friday.

Topics: Tokyo , stocks , state of emergency , Yoshihiro Ito , Okasan Online Securities
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