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Tokyo stocks rise in morning helped by gains in retailers

TSE (Kyodo)

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Tokyo stocks rose Monday morning as the market was supported by gains in some retailers and e-commerce website operators as well as buying to secure dividends for the first half of the business year.

    The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average rose 167.08 points, or 0.72 percent, from Friday to 23,371.70. The broader Topix index of all First Section issues on the Tokyo Stock Exchange was up 12.70 points, or 0.78 percent, at 1,646,93.

    Gainers were led by pulp and paper, precision instrument and iron and steel issues.

    The U.S. dollar remained in the lower-105 yen as the safe-haven currency has been widely supported on risk aversion amid the worsening of the coronavirus pandemic in some European countries.

    At noon, the dollar fetched 105.33-34 yen compared with 105.50-60 yen in New York and 105.38-39 yen in Tokyo at 5 p.m. Friday.

    The euro was quoted at $1.1635-1635 and 122.55-59 yen against $1.1626-1636 and 122.73-83 yen in New York and $1.1676-1678 and 123.04-08 yen in Tokyo late Friday afternoon.

    Tokyo stocks rose throughout the morning as retailers continued to benefit from strong demand related to people staying at home amid the pandemic.

    "Retailers have started releasing earnings. If they turn out to be solid, it will underpin the market," said Maki Sawada, vice president of the investment research and investor services department at Nomura Securities Co.

    The market was also supported by investors who bought some issues to secure dividends for the fiscal first half through this month. Monday is the deadline for the rights to receive the payments.

    On the First Section, advancing issues outnumbered decliners 1,578 to 522, while 75 ended the morning unchanged.

    Among retailers, Nitori Holdings rose 135 yen, or 0.6 percent, to 22,260 yen after the discount furniture store upgraded Friday its profit estimate for the year through late February.

    Nikkei heavyweight Fast Retailing, the operator of Uniqlo casual clothing chain, was up 720 yen, or 1.1 percent, at 65,520 yen while ZoZo, which operates an e-commerce website for apparel, climbed 126 yen, or 4.5 percent, to 2,933 yen.

    Bucking the upward trend, Toshiba lost 88 yen, or 3.2 percent, to 2,702 yen after Kioxia Holdings Corp. said it will delay what would have been Japan's largest initial public offering this year amid heightened U.S.-China tensions that have hurt the outlook for the semiconductor industry.

    Toshiba owns 40 percent of Kioxia, formerly known as Toshiba Memory Holdings Co., after selling the chip unit in 2018 as part of its restructuring.

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