Stocks

Nikkei shares inch higher as vaccine optimism lifts recovery hopes

Reuters TOKYO | Updated on November 27, 2020 Published on November 27, 2020

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was up 1.08 per cent at its highest since August 2, while the Shanghai composite index surged 1.7 per cent. Japan's Nikkei added 2.4 per cent. File Photo   -  Bloomberg

Japan's Nikkei average inched higher on Friday as investor confidence climbed over prospects of recovery in economic growth and corporate earnings following promising news on COVID-19 vaccine distribution.

Asian shares stalled near record highs on Friday as investors weighed renewed doubts about a highly-anticipated coronavirus vaccine against hopes that some of the region's economies will recovery quicker than their Western peers.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan fell 0.11% but remained with striking distance of a life-time peak touched this week. Australian shares were down 0.56%. Japan's Nikkei fell 0.12% in choppy trade.

Shares in China rose 0.37% after data showed Chinese industrial profits hit a nine-year high. South Korean stocks also rose 0.05%.

US S&P 500 e-mini stock futures fell 0.29% in Asian trade. US financial markets were closed on Thursday for the Thanksgiving holiday and will trade on a partial schedule later on Friday.

US oil prices extended their declines from a seven-month high due to signs of oversupply.

A drop in US political uncertainty after President-elect Joe Biden's transition to the White House and signs of pick-up in the Chinese economy also lifted the market.

Japan's Nikkei share average was up 0.38% at 26,637.01, on track for its fourth straight session of gains while hovering near its 29-1/2-year intraday high touched on Wednesday.

The index has gained 15.9% so far this month, and is on track for its best performance since January 1994. The broader Topix rose 0.54% to 1787.86.

“Investors are growing confident about profit recovery in the next financial year,” said Takuya Hozumi, global investment strategist at Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities.

Electronic parts manufacturers are benefiting from hopes for increased demand related to electric vehicles, 5G communications and other new technologies.

Nidec gained 3.8% while Murata Manufacturing rose 2.4%, both hitting record highs. Keyence rose 1.7%.

Including many in the tech sector, growth shares led the gains, with Topix Growth rising 0.85% compared with 0.26% in Topix Value.

Ballpark operator Tokyo Dome Corp was untraded with glut of buy orders, quoted up 16.7% at the session's upper price limit after the company said it will discuss a take-over bid by property developer Mitsui Fudosan.

Mitsui Fudosan gained 2%.

On the other hand, Monex, which owns crypto-currency exchange Coincheck, dropped 3% after bitcoin fell more than 8% on Thursday.

Trade was slow due to a US Thanksgiving holiday on Thursday.

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Published on November 27, 2020
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