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Tokyo stocks end higher on bargain hunting, US stimulus hopes

This file photo shows the Tokyo Stock Exchange. (Mainichi)

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Tokyo stocks ended higher Tuesday, snapping a two-day losing streak, as investors bought on dips and expectations grew for a new coronavirus stimulus package in the United States.

    The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average ended up 391.25 points, or 1.39 percent, from Monday at 28,633.46. The broader Topix index of all First Section issues on the Tokyo Stock Exchange finished 10.35 points, or 0.56 percent, higher at 1,855.84.

    Gainers were led by rubber product, electric power and gas, and air transportation issues.

    The U.S. dollar rose to around the 104-yen line on reports that President-elect Joe Biden's treasury secretary nominee Janet Yellen is expected to propose a large economic stimulus in her confirmation hearing later in the day.

    At 5 p.m., the dollar fetched 103.99-104.00 yen compared with 103.70-80 yen in London at 4 p.m. and 103.75-77 yen in Tokyo at 5 p.m. Monday. U.S. financial markets were closed Monday for a national holiday.

    The euro was quoted at $1.2104-2105 and 125.87-91 yen against $1.2075-2085 and 125.20-25 yen in London and $1.2067-2068 and 125.20-24 yen in Tokyo late Monday afternoon.

    The yield on the benchmark 10-year Japanese government bond fell 0.005 percentage point from Monday's close to 0.040 percent as investors bought the safe-haven debt on worries about domestic transmissions of the coronavirus variant first detected in Britain. Health authorities have been unable to trace transmission routes for infections confirmed Monday.

    Shares gained ground throughout the day as investors hunted for bargains following the Nikkei's retreat on the back of its recent advance to 30-year highs.

    "After dropping about 450 points during the past two sessions, investors bought shares of companies expected to report good earnings, such as those related to chips and electronic parts," said Norihiro Fujito, chief investment strategist at Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities Co.

    Sentiment was lifted by hopes for a large relief package under the new Biden administration and further U.S. stock gains, Fujito said.

    On the First Section, declining issues outnumbered advancers 1,187 to 912, while 89 ended unchanged.

    Apple Inc.'s parts suppliers were notably higher on hopes for solid earnings.

    Taiyo Yuden jumped 420 yen, or 7.7 percent, to 5,870 yen, Murata Manufacturing rose 250 yen, or 2.5 percent, to 10,330 yen and TDK advanced 470 yen, or 2.8 percent, to 17,470 yen.

    Automakers gained as the yen weakened against the dollar.

    Toyota Motor increased 72 yen, or 0.9 percent, to 7,708 yen, Honda Motor climbed 47.00 yen, or 1.7 percent, to 2,833.50 yen and Nissan Motor went up 20.50 yen, or 3.9 percent, to 544.30 yen.

    Trading volume on the main section rose to 1,006.77 million shares from Monday's 908.54 million shares.

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