Wed, 25 Nov 2020

TOKYO, Oct. 19 (Xinhua) -- Tokyo stocks closed higher Monday amid a comparatively weaker yen helping lift exporters and hopes for a U.S. virus-linked stimulus package being green-lit in time for enactment before the U.S. presidential election.

The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average ended up 260.50 points, or 1.11 percent, from Friday to close the day at 23,671.13.

The broader Topix index of all First Section issues on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, meanwhile, finished 20.29 points, or 1.25 percent, higher at 1,637.98.

Investors took heart in U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi setting a 48-hour deadline to reach a deal with the White House over a coronavirus stimulus deal, so that were an agreement to be reached it could be enacted before the U.S. presidential election, brokers here highlighted.

"The market was boosted by hopes for a U.S. stimulus deal, which would be a plus for the economy," Yutaka Miura, senior technical analyst at Mizuho Securities Co., was quoted as saying.

But some concerns remained about the potential deal for the much-needed economic package to help underpin the world's largest economy, which has been hammered by the novel coronavirus, not going through in time as U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin is in the Middle East until Tuesday.

Export data in Japan showing that the decline had slowed in September from a year earlier, as exports to the United States increased for the first time in 14 months, provided some hope for the outlook for Japan's recovery from the pandemic, despite the dismal figure for the first half of fiscal 2020, market strategists here said.

Also contributing to positive sentiment, data showing China's solid third quarter growth from a year earlier underscored the Asian powerhouse's economic recovery, brokers here said.

"The forecasts were high due to the market having a slight excessive expectation of a pick-up trend in China's economy," Kokichiro Mio, senior researcher at NLI Research Institute, adding, "the economy is recovering steadily."

By the close of play, marine transportation, rubber product, and iron and steel issues comprised those that gained the most.

Shipping firms found favor on hopes the global economic recovery would gather steam, with Nippon Yusen rising 2.4 percent, while Mitsui O.S.K. Lines added 3.3 percent. Kawasaki Kisen, meanwhile, closed the day 4.9 percent higher.

Toho Co. jumped 4.5 percent after the the film and entertainment company upgraded its net profit forecast.

Toshiba finished 2.5 percent higher, after announcing it will aim to raise 3 billion U.S. dollars by 2030 through the launch of services involving the use of quantum cryptography starting next year.

Issues that rose outpaced those that fell by 1,811 to 314 on the First Section, while 55 ended the day unchanged.

On the main section on Monday, 862.59 million shares changed hands, dropping from Friday's 917.58 million shares.

The turnover on the first trading day of the week came to 1.685 trillion yen (15.995 billion U.S. dollars).

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