Tokyo stocks close higher

(iStock)
(iStock)

Tokyo stocks closed higher on Thursday as investors bought back major shares, shaking off worries over Japan's rising number of coronavirus cases.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index, which opened lower, gained 0.91 percent, or 240.45 points, to end at 26,537.31, while the broader Topix index climbed 0.60 percent, or 10.58 points, to 1,778.25.

"The Nikkei index opened lower following losses of the Dow index... but the Nikkei moved into positive territory as major shares were steadily bought back," Okasan Online Securities said in a note.

In the morning, concern over a rise in the number of new coronavirus cases at home and abroad were weighing on the market, Mizuho Securities said.

Meanwhile, hopes for a vaccine development that could lead to economic normality were seen supporting the market, it said.

Tokyo's governor on Wednesday urged residents to avoid non-essential outings and asked businesses serving alcohol to shut early as Japan battles record daily Covid-19 infections.

The country has seen a comparatively small outbreak overall, with just over 2,000 deaths and 135,400 confirmed cases, but it is now battling a third wave of the respiratory disease.

The dollar fetched 104.33 yen in Asian trade, against 104.38 yen in London late Wednesday.

In Tokyo trading, medical equipment-related shares were higher with Olympus jumping 4.88 percent to 2,253.5 yen and Omron rising 4.02 percent to 9,300 yen.

Tokyo Electron, which manufactures chip-making equipment, gained 3.27 percent to 35,000 yen while SoftBank Group advanced 3.18 percent to 7,089 yen.

Travel-linked shares were weighed down, with Japan Airlines plunging 7.99 percent to 2,038 yen, ANA Holdings losing 0.53 percent to 2,585 yen and West Japan Railway sliding 1.34 percent to 5,131 yen.

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