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Tokyo stocks gain on hopes for eased border controls helping tourism

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

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Tokyo stocks ended higher Monday on hopes the Japanese government's decision late last week to ease border controls for overseas arrivals may help tourism-linked sectors.

    The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average ended up 262.49 points, or 0.98 percent, from Friday at 27,001.52. The broader Topix index finished 17.20 points, or 0.92 percent, higher at 1,894.57.

    On the top-tier Prime Market, gainers were led by insurance, marine transportation and retail issues.

    The U.S. dollar bounced back to the upper 127 yen range after meeting selling by exporters for settlement purposes, dealers said.

    At 5 p.m., the dollar fetched 127.58-59 yen compared with 127.87-97 yen in New York and 127.92-94 yen in Tokyo at 5 p.m. Friday.

    The euro was quoted at $1.0600-0602 and 135.24-28 yen against $1.0563-0573 and 135.04-14 yen in New York and $1.0576-0577 and 135.29-33 yen in Tokyo late Friday afternoon.

    The yield on the benchmark 10-year Japanese government bond was unchanged from Friday's close at 0.235 percent.

    The equity market saw gains in broader sectors throughout the day after Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno said Friday that the Japanese government would double the cap on overseas arrivals to 20,000 people per day starting next month.

    The relaxed policy follows a decision earlier to accept small-scale tours for vaccinated tourists from the United States, Australia, Thailand and Singapore as a trial later this month toward the full-scale reception of foreign visitors planned for June.

    "Fresh inbound visitors to the country are expected to lift the domestic economy, as well as revitalize and energize movement," said Masahiro Yamaguchi, head of investment research at SMBC Trust Bank.

    Concerns over a resurgence of infections have also softened, even as the market had braced for a possible spike in them after the Golden Week holidays earlier this month, analysts said.

    But the market was top-heavy, as investors became cautious over chasing the upside when the Nikkei index came close to the 27,000 mark, Yamaguchi added.

    Among Prime Market issues, advancing issues outnumbered decliners 1,430 to 352, while 55 ended unchanged.

    Leisure-related issues were mostly higher on expectations for more foreign tourists. Tokyo Disney Resort operator Oriental Land added 370 yen, or 2.0 percent, to finish at 18,715 yen, while Daiichikosho, operator of the "Big Echo" karaoke chain, advanced 75 yen, or 2.0 percent, to 3,830 yen.

    Travel agency H.I.S. rose 20 yen, or 0.9 percent, to 2,175 yen.

    Tokio Marine Holdings surged 518 yen, or 7.6 percent, to 7,300 yen, after the insurance company reported Friday strong earnings for fiscal 2021 and said it would buy back up to 50 billion yen ($392 million) worth of shares.

    Bucking the upward trend, Idemitsu Kosan fell 65 yen, or 1.9 percent, to 3,425 yen, after the oil refiner said Friday that subsidiary Showa Yokkaichi Sekiyu Co. had engaged in misconduct regarding product testing.

    Trading volume on the Prime Market fell to 1,097.99 million shares from Friday's 1,253.30 million.

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