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Tokyo shares sharply higher on new COVID-19 treatment hope

This Oct. 26, 2017 file photo shows an electronic stock quotation signboard at the Tokyo Stock Exchange in the Japanese capital. (Kyodo)

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Tokyo stocks opened sharply higher Thursday, with the Nikkei regaining 20,000 mark for the first time since March 9 on reports that clinical trials of experimental antiviral drug remdesivir showed positive results in COVID-19 sufferers.

    In the first 15 minutes of trading, the 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average rose 513.38 points, or 2.60 percent, from Tuesday to 20,284.57. Financial markets in Japan were closed Wednesday for a national holiday.

    The broader Topix index of all First Section issues on the Tokyo Stock Exchange was up 25.51 points, or 1.76 percent, at 1,474.66.

    Gainers were led by marine transportation, glass and ceramic product, and iron and steel issues.

    At 9 a.m., the U.S. dollar fetched 106.63-64 yen compared with 106.60-70 yen in New York at 5 p.m. Wednesday.

    The euro was quoted at $1.0876-0876 and 115.97-98 yen against $1.0874-0884 and 115.90-116.00 yen in New York late Wednesday afternoon.

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