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Tokyo's Nikkei index hits 30-year high

Tokyo's Nikkei index hits 30-year high

A man looks at a share prices board in Tokyo. (File photo: AFP/Yoshikazu Tsuno)

TOKYO: Tokyo stocks jumped more than two per cent to end at a 30-year high on Tuesday (Dec 29) on hopes for economic recovery following the signing of a massive US stimulus package.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index surged 2.66 per cent, or 714.12 points, to end at 27,568.15, while the broader Topix index rose 1.74 per cent, or 31.14 points, to 1,819.18.

It came after US President Donald Trump signed a US$900 billion stimulus bill late on Sunday, averting a government shutdown, providing additional payments to unemployed workers and extending an eviction moratorium by a month.

In the US, all three major indices ended at all-time highs, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average up 0.7 per cent at 30,403.97.

The broad-based S&P 500 gained 0.9 per cent to 3,735.36, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 0.7 per cent to 12,899.42.

"In the United States, although the virus continues to spread and there's concern over new strains, there is hope for economic recovery thanks to coronavirus vaccines," senior market strategist Yoshihiro Ito of Okasan Online Securities said.

"The Nikkei index continued to grow in the afternoon session and hit a 30-year high," he said. The last time the index reached this level was in August 1990.

After finding several cases of a new COVID-19 variant, which experts fear is more contagious, Japan halted all new non-resident foreign arrivals from overseas until late January.

The number of new infections continues to surge in Japan and Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga has urged people to avoid gatherings, saying "the virus does not take holidays".

The dollar fetched 103.70 yen in Asian trade against 103.76 on Monday in New York.

In Tokyo trading, market heavyweight SoftBank Group soared 4.52 per cent to 8,055 yen while Uniqlo casual wear operator Fast Retailing jumped 4.49 per cent to 90,810 yen.

The shipping industry was also higher, with Mitsui OSK Lines rising 2.11 per cent to 3,145 yen and Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha growing 3.34 per cent to 2,070 yen.

Sony was up 2.06 per cent to 10,390 yen and Panasonic climbed 2.04 per cent to 1,198 yen.

Source: AFP/kv

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