Sun, 28 Feb 2021

TOKYO, Jan. 27 (Xinhua) -- Tokyo stocks closed higher Wednesday on investors' continued hopes for upbeat corporate earnings from major domestic firms.

The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average added 89.03 points, or 0.31 percent, from Tuesday to close the day at 28,635.21.

The broader Topix index of all First Section issues on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, meanwhile, rose 12.07 points, or 0.65 percent, to finish at 1,860.07.

Investor sentiment remained positive for upcoming corporate earnings reports this week, local brokers said, owing to a recent recovery in exports, with hopes also supported by the International Monetary Fund upgrading growth estimates for Japan and the global economy this year.

"Many of the Japanese stocks are sensitive to the global economy. Investors are taking a fresh look at Japanese shares after the IMF's global economic outlook," Hideyuki Ishiguro, senior strategist at Daiwa Securities, was quoted as saying.

Other analysts said that investors moved to secure gains after the market turned top-heavy in the afternoon, with U.S. tech heavyweight Apple Inc.'s first quarter results set to be released later in the day.

"There were expectations that earnings will improve in the next fiscal year from April and beyond, while some investors also moved to secure gains before Apple Inc.'s first quarter results due later in the day," Norihiro Fujito, chief investment strategist at Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities Co., was quoted as saying.

By the close of play, real estate, electric appliance and food-oriented issues comprised those that advanced the most.

Among tech-linked issues, electronic component maker Nitto Denko soared 7.9 percent to a three-year high, after it raised its annual operating profit forecast, while Canon Inc., leapt 6.7 percent.

Murata Manufacturing climbed 1.6 percent, Nidec gained 2.8 percent, while Sharp closed the day 6.15 percent higher.

ANA Holdings dropped 0.6 percent, however, after the Japanese carrier announced a day earlier it will suspend services on 16 international routes from late March, as demand has slumped as a result of the novel coronavirus pandemic.

From March 28 through October 30, the services to be halted will include those from Narita Airport near Tokyo to New York, as well as flights to San Francisco, ANA said.

ANA also said that flights between Tokyo's Haneda airport and Moscow will be halted and those to Bangkok, Los Angeles and Sydney will be reduced.

ANA has now slashed 80 percent of its international flights from its initial plan, although has said that its modus operandi looking ahead will remain flexible enough to cater to shifts in the pandemic and passenger demand.

Cost-cutting initiatives will also include the early retirement of its feet of Boeing 777s in favor of smaller, more fuel-efficient Boeing 787s, ANA said.

Issues that advanced outpaced those that declined by 1,291 to 814 on the First Section, while 85 ended the day unchanged.

On the main section on Wednesday, 1,159.58 million shares changed hands, rising from Tuesday's volume of 1,070.61 million shares.

The turnover on the third trading day of the week came to 2,618.88 billion yen (25.23 billion U.S. dollars).

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