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Nikkei ends at 30-yr high as drug makers rally on COVID-19 treatment news

CoronavirusJan 12, 2021 07:54
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TOKYO, Jan 12 (Reuters) - Japan's benchmark Nikkei share
average inched up to close at a fresh three-decade high on
Tuesday, as drug makers led the charge on a report that Chugai
Pharmaceutical's drug was effective in treating COVID-19
patients.
The Nikkei index ended 0.09% higher at 28,164.34 after
recovering from early declines, while the broader Topix index
.TOPX edged up 0.16% to 1,857.94.
"Investors bought back stocks as soon as the market started
falling, showing the fundamental strength of demand," said
Masahiro Ichikawa, chief market strategist at Sumitomo Mitsui DS
Asset Management.
"They (also) got confidence in the market as U.S. futures
rose overnight." MKTS/GLOB .N
Chugai Pharmaceutical 4519.T jumped 5.91% on the
drug-effectiveness news, helping boost the drug maker index
.IPHAM.T by 1.68%.
Other companies such as Takeda Pharmaceutical 4502.T ,
Eisai 4523.T , and Shionogi & Co 4507.T gained between 1.95%
and 3.38%.
The COVID-19 treatment news comes at a time when Japan plans
to expand its declaration of state of emergency to three western
prefectures including Osaka to stem the spread of COVID-19,
according to local media. Among other shares, SoftBank Group gained 1.36% after a fund
it manages sold part of its stake in Uber Technologies UBER.N
for $2 billion.
Retail stocks rose, led by a 5.52% rise in Ryohin Keikaku
7453.T after the Muji retail stores operator posted a 69% jump
in quarterly net profit. Lawson 2651.T rose 2.24%, while Watts
Co 2735.T jumped 10.37%.
Semiconductor shares rose on prospects of stronger chip
demand, with Tokyo Electron 8035.T adding 0.29% and Shin-Etsu
Chemical 4063.T climbing 3.29%.
Bucking the trend, automakers slid after Toyota Motor
7203.T and Honda Motor 7267.T said they would cut vehicle
production this month due to a shortage of semiconductors.
Toyota fell 0.59% and Honda Motor declined 1.55%.
The underperformers among the Topix 30 were Nippon Telegraph
and Telephone Corp 9432.T , which was down 2.54%, followed by
Seven & i Holdings Co Ltd 3382.T , losing 2.08%.


Nikkei ends at 30-yr high as drug makers rally on COVID-19 treatment news
 

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