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Tokyo stocks rise in morning as exporters, chip makers advance

Tokyo Stock Exchange (Kyodo)

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Tokyo stocks advanced Monday morning as a weaker yen helped exporter issues while chip makers also gained ground on the continued rise in demand for telework equipment amid the coronavirus pandemic.

    The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average rose 306.24 points, or 1.37 percent, from Friday to 22,612.72. The broader Topix index of all First Section issues on the Tokyo Stock Exchange was up 18.56 points, or 1.20 percent, at 1,570.89.

    Marine transportation, iron and steel and security house issues were among the other gainers.

    In the currency market, the U.S. dollar firmed into the upper 107 yen zone on hopes for an economic recovery while fears of a resurgence of infection rates in Japan and elsewhere also prevented active trading, dealer said.

    At noon, the dollar fetched 107.69-73 yen at noon, compared with 107.47-57 yen in New York and 107.48-49 yen in Tokyo at 5 p.m. Friday.

    The euro was quoted at $1.1277-1279 and 121.46-50 yen against $1.1241-1251 and 120.78-88 yen in New York and $1.1234-1236 and 120.75-79 yen in Tokyo late Friday afternoon.

    Tokyo shares extended gains throughout the morning, helped by advances in major issues.

    "Gains in SoftBank (Group) following its share buyback plan and rises in technology issues such as Tokyo Electron pushed up the Tokyo market and are expected to affect the market throughout the day," said Kazuo Kamitani, senior associate of the investment research and investor services department at Nomura Securities Co.

    Demand for semiconductors has been bolstered by investments in data-center equipment by major cloud providers such as Inc. and Microsoft Corp. to support video conferencing systems as the pandemic has prompted more people to work from home.

    The widely expected re-election of Yuriko Koike as Tokyo governor in Sunday's gubernatorial election did not affect trading, brokers said.

    On the First Section, advancing issues outnumbered decliners 1,798 to 303, while 65 ended the morning unchanged.

    SoftBank Group briefly rose about 2 percent before ending the morning 100 yen, or 1.7 percent, higher at 5,878 yen. Tokyo Electron gained 630 yen, or 2.2 percent, to 29,350 yen.

    Among exporters, Nissan Motor grew 16.30 yen, or 4.1 percent, to 410.30 yen.

    Fujitsu was up 235 yen, or 1.9 percent, at 12,680 yen after the information technology firm said in the morning it will halve the office area of its group companies over the next three years as it further promotes teleworking.

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