Roundup: Tokyo stocks close higher on solid earnings, COVID-19 concerns weigh on gains-Xinhua

Roundup: Tokyo stocks close higher on solid earnings, COVID-19 concerns weigh on gains

Source: Xinhua| 2022-01-31 18:32:17|Editor: huaxia

TOKYO, Jan. 31 (Xinhua) -- Tokyo stocks closed higher Monday as solid earning reports from Japanese companies lifted the market mood, although concerns over a resurgence of COVID-19 cases in Japan saw gains capped.

The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average gained 284.64 points, or 1.07 percent, from Friday to close the day at 27,001.98.

The broader Topix index of all First Section issues on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, meanwhile, added 19.04 points, or 1.01 percent, to finish at 1,895.93.

Local brokers said that trading took its cues from Wall Street's solid performance late last week, with domestic earnings reports further buoying the market mood.

"Stocks extended gains after firms with strong earnings pushed up the market as a whole, prompting investors to chase the upside further with improving sentiment," Yutaka Miura, senior technical analyst at Mizuho Securities Co., was quoted as saying.

In terms of the direction of the market this week, some dealers said that earnings and economic data would dictate investors' moves.

"Today's market is rising just like the spring is stretching back, supported by the rebound on Wall Street last week," Chihiro Ohta at the investment research and investor services at SMBC Nikko Securities, was quoted as saying.

"The market's direction this week will depend on the upcoming U.S. economic data and corporate earnings," Ohta said.

Weighing on the market, however, were concerns that Tokyo may soon be put under a state of emergency as COVID-19-related hospital admissions approach the benchmark for the metropolitan government to request being placed under the government's toughest anti-virus measures, market analysts here said.

They highlighted the fact that the hospitalization rate in Tokyo for those with COVID-19 is moving towards the 50 percent threshold, with the rate in hospitals in the capital hitting 48.5 percent on Sunday.

For the time being, however, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said on Monday he is not considering declaring a state of emergency for Tokyo over the surge in COVID-19 cases in the capital at the moment, as the Omicron variant of the virus continues to wreak havoc.

"A quasi-state of emergency has already started, and our basic thinking is that we will confirm its effect, see how the situation develops and work closely with municipalities before comprehensively making a decision," Kishida told a press briefing on the matter.

By the close of play, marine transportation, precision instrument and service-oriented issues comprised those that gained the most, while issues that rose outpaced those that fell by 1,715 to 417 on the First Section, while 52 ended the day unchanged.

Chip issues gained ground, tracking their U.S. peers' gains, with Tokyo Electron jumping 3.3 percent, while Advantest leapt 4.4 percent. Renesas, meanwhile, ended the day 5.2 percent higher.

Stocks gaining on robust earnings for the April-December period included Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, which soared 9.6 percent, after upwardly revising its earnings forecast for the year ending March.

Screen Holdings also found favor, climbing 4.6 percent, after announcing its net profit in the nine-month period more than tripled compared to a year ago.

Alps Alpine, for its part, surged 17.4 percent, after raising its annual operating profit forecast.

Conversely, healthcare equipment maker Omron slumped 7 percent after lowering its annual operating profit outlook for the year through March.

On the main section on Monday, 1,314.61 million shares changed hands, dropping from Friday's volume of 1,329.65 million shares.

The turnover on the first trading day of the week came to 3,213.00 billion yen (27.84 billion U.S. dollars).