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Japan Nikkei hits 29-year high on vaccine optimism

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Japan shares finished session modestly higher on Tuesday, 17 November 2020, with the Nikkei crossed the 26,000 mark to end at a new 29-year high, as investor sentiments boosted on tracking record finish of Wall Street overnight after upbeat news about coronavirus vaccine developments.

At closing bell, the 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average advanced 107.69 points, or 0.42%, to 26,014.62, its highest close since May 1991. The broader Topix index of all First Section issues on the Tokyo Stock Exchange added 2.85 points, or 0.16%, to 1,734.66.

The strength on Tokyo market came following more upbeat news on the coronavirus vaccine front, with Moderna (MRNA) reporting positive results from a trial of its vaccine candidate. Moderna said in a statement that the first interim analysis of Phase 3 trial results showed its vaccine candidate was 94.5% effective against coronavirus. Last week, Pfizer said that a vaccine it developed with German drugmaker BioNTech was more than 90% effective against Covid-19. There are dozens more potential vaccines in development, and the promising test results from Moderna and Pfizer suggest that vaccines may be an effective way to fight the coronavirus.

Both vaccines require two doses to be administered.

Around two-thirds of the 33 sector sub-indexes on the Tokyo exchange traded higher. The airline sector led gains, climbing 3.96%, with ANA Holdings and Japan Airlines adding 4.16% and 3.72%, respectively. Other cyclical sectors followed, with miners, insurers and iron and steel rising between 2.1% and 3.4%. Semiconductor Tokyo Electron rose 1.32% to a record high, taking positive cues from its U. S. peers. Nikkei's heavyweight Fanuc Corp rose nearly 1.5%, helped by upbeat industrial output data from China and the formation of a regional trade bloc comprising 15 Asia-Pacific economies.

CURRENCY NEWS: The Japanese yen traded at 104.49 against the greenback, a touch firmer as compared to Monday.

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

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First Published: Tue, November 17 2020. 13:15 IST