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Japan Market extends gain on US coronavirus stimulus deal

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The Japan share market finished higher for third straight session on Wednesday, 25 March 2020, as investors continued bargain hunting on tracking record-setting US rally overnight and relief that the Tokyo Olympics is being postponed rather than cancelled. At closing bell, the 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average advanced 1,454.28 points, or 8.04%, to 19,546.63. The broader Topix index of all First Section issues on the Tokyo Stock Exchange added 91.52 points, or 6.87%, at 1,424.62.

All 33 industry category of Topix index inclined into positive territory, with Real Estate, Iron & Steel, Marine Transportation, Nonferrous Metals, Transportation Equipment, Glass & Ceramics Products, and Securities & Commodities Futures issues being notable gainers.

Investor sentiment got a boost from hopes for a massive US stimulus package to counter the impact of the pandemic, as well a deal to postpone the 2020 Tokyo Games until next year. The White House and Senate reached a deal on a gigantic $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus bill early Wednesday stateside.

The massive stimulus is designed to be a lifeline to Americans and their employers until the coronavirus is brought under control and the country finds some semblance of normalcy. The Federal Reserve signaled the gravity of the situation Monday when, in an unprecedented move, it said it would spend whatever it takes to preserve the U. S. financial system.

Markets across the globe, including those of Spain, the U. K., and Italy, have been reeling from planned, temporary business shutdowns, to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, the infectious disease that is derived from a novel strain of coronavirus, and which has infected 390,000 people globally since it was first identified in December while at least 16,362 lives have been taken.

The intentional lockdowns are expected to drive much of the world, including the U. S., into a recession.

Meanwhile, reports that the outbreak was peaking in Europe also offered some glimmers of hope for market bulls. Indeed, both new cases and deaths have dropped for two days in Italy, and the head of Germany's public health institute said the infections rate in Europe's largest economy was leveling off.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said a 21-day shutdown would begin at midnight local time, extending restrictions to a nation of 1.4 billion people. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson ordered that all citizens stay home and that all nonessential businesses close. Johnson said police would be called in to enforce social distancing if need be. The International Olympic Committee and Japanese officials officially postponed the Tokyo Games until next year

Shares of Marine transportation, real estate, and iron and steel issues showed strong rises, as overall sentiment was also boosted by the decision to postpone the Tokyo Olympics for about one year due to the spread of the virus. Construction company Obayashi rose 11.4% to 938 yen, while peers Shimizu gained 10.3% to 867 yen, and Taisei jumped 13.2% to 3,330 yen. In the real estate sector, Tokyu Fudosan Holdings surged 19.8% to a daily limit high of 606 yen and Mitsubishi Estate jumped 12.7% to 1,695.00 yen.

SoftBank Group added 4.2% to 3,951 yen after sharp rallies in the past days on a stock buy-back scheme.

Toyota climbed 10.7% to 6,919 yen after the auto giant announced a capital tie-up with leading telecom carrier NTT, which rose 2.7% to 2,503.00 yen, to build energy-efficient "smart cities" in which autonomous vehicles transport residents.

CURRENCY: The U. S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was last at 101.472 after rising from levels below 100 last week. The Japanese yen traded at 111.24 after touching an earlier low of 111.56.

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(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, March 25 2020. 15:42 IST
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