Japan share market finished higher after recouping earlier losses on Monday, 26 April 2021, as bargain-hunting underpinned on expectations of solid corporate earnings reports from major Japanese companies. However, market gains capped after tougher restrictions to curb the spread of coronavirus infections in Japan were imposed.
At closing bell, the 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average advanced 105.60 points, or 0.36%, to 29,126.23. The broader Topix index of all First Section issues on the Tokyo Stock Exchange increased 3.17 points, or 0.17%, to 1,918.15.
Total 22 sub-indexes of the 33 sector sub-indexes on the Tokyo exchange traded higher, with Air Transportation, Land Transportation, Iron & Steel, Marine Transportation, Nonferrous Metals, Real Estate, and Textiles & Apparels issues being notable gainers, while Pharmaceutical, Warehousing & Harbor Transportation Services, Rubber Products, and Chemicals issues were notable losers.
Tokyo stocks opened lower on Monday after tougher restrictions to curb the spread of coronavirus infections in Japan were imposed on Friday declaring "short and powerful" states of emergency for Tokyo, Osaka and two other prefectures, requiring restaurants, bars and karaoke parlours serving alcohol to close. Market managed to recoup losses late afternoon as bargain hunting resumed on expectations of solid corporate earnings reports from major Japanese companies.
Japan is facing a fourth wave of the pandemic, with new cases surging in big cities including Tokyo and Osaka. The rapid rise in deadlier COVID-19 variant cases has also become a point of concern for investors -- as has the slow pace of Japan's rollout of vaccines. Little over 1% of the population has received a first dose.
The number of novel coronavirus infection cases in Japan, including among cruise ship passengers and crew members, came to 569,080 on Monday, up by 33,371 from a week before.
The weekly number surpassed the preceding week's total for the eighth consecutive week. The country's cumulative deaths related to the coronavirus stood at 9,990, up by 328. Osaka Prefecture in western Japan recorded the largest number of new cases in the latest week, at 7,590, almost 1.5 times that of Tokyo, at 5,090. The total stood at 3,500 in Hyogo Prefecture and at 959 in Kyoto Prefecture, both in western Japan.
Travel-related shares advanced on bargain hunting, with ANA Holdings up 5.8% after the airline said its full-year operating loss would be smaller than previously forecast.
Railway companies stocks also soared, with Central Japan Railway, West Japan Railway and East Japan Railway up 4.7%, 5.2% and 3.4%, respectively.
ECONOMIC NEWS: Japan Services Producer Prices Up 0.7% in March- Japanese services producer prices in March rose 0.7% from a year before, the first year-on-year increase in six months, the Bank of Japan said on Monday. The services producer price index, measuring the costs of services offered to corporate clients, stood at 105.3 against 100 for the base year of 2015. Prices for domestic air passenger transportation rose 3.8%, as the flow of people began to recover after the second state of emergency over the novel coronavirus was lifted.
CURRENCY NEWS: The Japanese yen traded at 107.68 per dollar, weaker than levels around 107.5 against the greenback seen late last week.
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