Tokyo shares closed higher on Tuesday after overnight global rallies, fueled by the announcement of a promising second vaccine candidate against the coronavirus as major cities face new waves of infections.
The benchmark Nikkei 225 index added 0.42 percent, or 107.69 points, to 26,014.62, while the broader Topix index gained 0.16 percent, or 2.85 points, to 1 734.66.
“The Tokyo market has picked up the sentiment of overseas buying,” said Yoshihiro Okumura, managing director of Chibagin Asset Management.
“Investors were just reacting to the positive news about the vaccine,” Okumura told AFP.
Stock markets around the world surged on Monday after US biotech company Moderna announced that its experimental vaccine against Covid-19 was nearly 95% effective – marking a second major step forward in the quest to end the pandemic after a similar announcement from Pfizer last week.
Technical charts continue to show market strength, but some signs of a possible overheating have also been seen following recent rallies, brokers said.
“In the short term, it’s conceivable that we could see an adjustment anytime,” Okasan Online Securities said in a note.
The dollar stood at 104.50 yen in afternoon trading in Asia, following 104.56 yen in New York on Monday.
Among large shares, leading Japanese drugmaker Takeda Pharmaceutical rose 1.12 percent to 3,605 yen. The company has agreed to distribute 50 million doses of the Moderna vaccine in Japan, if approved.
NTT lost 0.58% to 2,468 yen after the telecommunications giant said it had successfully bought back its mobile unit for $ 40 billion.
Nissan Motor gained 1.32 percent to 475.2 yen, following a media report on Monday that the company was re-examining its relationship with its partner Mitsubishi Motors. Nissan and Mitsubishi have denied the report.
Japan Airlines jumped 3.71% to 2,010 yen, while rival ANA Holdings climbed 4.16% to 2,651.5 yen, after a report that the Japanese government may cut taxes on jet fuel to help strengthen the struggling aviation sector.