Japan shares end at over 29.5-year high as Nasdaq gains cheer tech stocks

TOKYO: Japanese shares closed at a more than 29-and-a-half-year high on Thursday, as tech shares tracked overnight advances on the U.S. Nasdaq, but worries over latest coronavirus restrictions at home hindering economic recovery capped gains.

The Nikkei share average ended up 0.91% at 26,537.31, its highest closing level since April 1991. There were 101 advancers on the index against 118 decliners.

The broader Topix added 0.6% to 1,778.25.

Telecommunications, precision instruments and electric appliances were among the top sectoral performers on the main bourse, up between 1.51% and 1.79%.

The market opened on a weak note, but quickly reversed course as tech-related shares advanced and investors snapped up bargains, supported by the tech-heavy Nasdaq closing 0.47% higher overnight.

Sentiment was also supported by other Asian peers and e-mini futures, which was last up 0.26%, a market participant said.

Video games developer Nintendo was among top 30 core Topix gainers, rising 4.6%.

Other tech shares followed suit, with heavyweight SoftBank Group Corp and Tokyo Electron climbing 3.2% and 3.3%, respectively.

As part of Japan's latest measures to rein in its highest surge in COVID-19 infections yet, Tokyo on Wednesday urged restaurants and bars to shorten their operating hours until mid-December and residents to stay indoors as much as possible.

Economy Minister Yasutoshi Nishimura said medical resources in parts of Japan are becoming strained and the next three weeks would be critical to stopping the spread of infections.

The largest percentage gainers in the index were online game publisher Nexon up 7.55%, followed by Olympus Corp gaining 4.89% and internet firm Z Holdings Corp rising 4.40%.

Sharp Corp jumped 3.69% after Bloomberg News reported Nintendo has added the company as an assembler of its popular Switch game console.

Elsewhere, the Mothers Index of startup firm shares ended 0.39% higher, having dropped 2.1% in the previous session. - Reuters

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