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Nikkei edges higher, stops short of erasing pandemic loss

Stock MarketsAug 14, 2020 15:30
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© Reuters.

* Nikkei up slightly, investors hesitate to advance rally
* Nikkei yet to close Feb chart gap opened after COVID-19
* Hopes of economic recovery and vaccines underpin sentiment
* Real estate shares hit by rising bond yields

By Hideyuki Sano
TOKYO, Aug 14 (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei share average eked
out gains on Friday, but stopped short of a final step towards a
complete recovery from its decline triggered by the coronavirus
The Nikkei .N225 ended 0.17% higher at 23,289.36, briefly
hitting a six-month high for two straight sessions, but did not
rise enough to close a major chart gap between 23,378 and 22,950
made in February, when signs of global spread of the COVID-19
caught investors off guard.
Given risk factors such as uncertainties over U.S. stimulus
and intensifying China-U.S. tensions, investors regarded
profit-taking more prudent than chasing the rally further.
The broader Topix .TOPX dipped 0.05% to 1,623.28, having
risen 8.5% just in the first two weeks of August, supported by
hopes of gradual recovery in the global economy and rapid
development of COVID-19 vaccines.
"The market has been strong even for a bull like me. It has
been driven by short-covering by foreign investors," said
Seiichi Suzuki, chief equity market analyst at Tokai Tokyo
Research Institute.
The biggest gainer among the top 100 firms .TOPX100 was
Fujifilm Holdings 4901.T , which rose 2.8% after the company
said it expects data from a clinical trial of its Avigan drug on
COVID-19 patients to be ready in about a month. Dentsu 4324.T gained 2.2% after the advertising firm
managed to eke out small gains, despite analyst forecasts of a
quarterly net loss. Oisix Ra Daichi 3182.T , one of the stay-at-home stock
winners, advanced 11.8% to an all-time high after local media
reported, which was later confirmed, that the food delivery
service operator will tie up with restaurant chain Ootoya
Holdings 2705.T . On the other hand, rise in bond yields this week also
prompted investors to take profit from interest rate-sensitive
shares, including Softbank 9984.T , and real estate firms
Softbank fell 1.5%, while realtor Mitsui Fudosan 8801.T
and Mitsubishi Estate 8802.T dropped 3.1% and 2.3%,

(Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips and Rashmi Aich)

Nikkei edges higher, stops short of erasing pandemic loss

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