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Japan stocks end higher on hopes of economic rebound

Stanley White
·2 min read

By Stanley White

TOKYO, March 9 (Reuters) - Japanese shares ended higher on Tuesday as investors bought consumer goods companies and property developers on expectations that they would benefit from an economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Nikkei 225 Index climbed 0.99% to 29,027.94. The broader Topix rose 1.27% to 1,917.68.

Consumer cyclicals and property firms underpinned the gains, driven by optimism that the sectors would perform better as a recovery in the domestic economy gathers pace.

Technology shares fell in early trade as some investors booked profits before the close of the fiscal year on March 31, but the sector reversed course to end higher in a sign that overall sentiment remains positive.

"There is some selling in the IT sector, but at the same time investors are willing to buy the dip for value shares that are linked to the domestic economy," said Ayako Sera, a market strategist at Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank.

"You can tell that investors are planning for life after the coronavirus pandemic, but the market is likely to consolidate around current levels."

Domestic equities have weakened in the past few sessions after rallying to a more than 30-year high last month, which some investors said was a sign of excessive froth.

The stocks that gained the most among the top 30 core Topix names on Tuesday were Honda Motor Co Ltd, gaining 3.68%, followed by Astellas Pharma Inc, rising 3.64%.

Many exporters got a boost after the yen fell to a nine-month low against the dollar. A weaker yen inflates exporters' earnings when repatriated from overseas.

The underperformers among the Topix 30 were Keyence Corp , falling 3.02%, and Nidec Corp, which fell 2.91%

There were 182 advancers on the Nikkei index against 41 decliners.

The volume of shares traded on the Tokyo Stock Exchange's main board was 0.97 billion, compared with the average of 1.38 billion in the past 30 days. (Reporting by Stanley White; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu and Aditya Soni)