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Nikkei posts biggest gain in nearly 9 months after plunge

Tokyo Stock Exchange (Mainichi/Yuki Miyatake)

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Tokyo stocks rebounded Monday from a plunge late last week, with the Nikkei logging its biggest daily point gain in nearly nine months, as investors bought back shares after calm returned to the U.S. bond market.

    The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average ended up 697.49 points, or 2.41 percent, from Friday at 29,663.50. The broader Topix index of all First Section issues on the Tokyo Stock Exchange finished 37.99 points, or 2.04 percent, higher at 1,902.48.

    Gainers were led by information and communication, pulp and paper, and construction issues.

    The U.S. dollar was firm in the mid-106 yen range on growing hopes for a U.S. economic recovery after the House of Representatives passed President Joe Biden's $1.9 trillion stimulus package, dealers said.

    The share gains came after the Nikkei plunged over 1,200 points on Friday, its biggest daily point drop since June 2016, as a spike in global bond yields triggered concern about financial market stability.

    A broad range of issues drew buying from the opening and the market retained most of the gains in the afternoon encouraged by firm Shanghai and Hong Kong stocks.

    Investors' focus is shifting to the Bank of Japan's two-day policy meeting through March 19, brokers said. The central bank has said it will review its policy tools at its March meeting to conduct more effective and sustainable policy easing.

    "Investors remained cautious about the BOJ's move," said Seiichi Suzuki, chief equity market analyst at the Tokai Tokyo Research Institute.

    On the First Section, advancing issues outnumbered decliners 1,931 to 229, while 34 ended unchanged.

    Technology shares, which led the Nikkei's recent rally to a 30-year high, drew buybacks after meeting heavy selling Friday.

    Tokyo Electron gained 910 yen, or 2.1 percent, to 44,460 yen, Advantest climbed 370 yen, or 4.2 percent, to 9,120 yen and Screen Holdings advanced 290 yen, or 3.5 percent, to 8,590 yen.

    Trading volume on the main section fell to 1,250.01 million shares from Friday's 1,688.76 million shares.

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