Nikkei closes higher on hopes for economic recovery By Reuters

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© Reuters. A man wears a mask in Tokyo next to a billboard displaying the Nikkei on January 4, 2021. Photo: Kim Kyung-Hoon/Reuters

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s index closed higher on Thursday, as shipping companies rallied on prospects for more economies to reopen, and drugmakers were boosted by reports of government support.

The Nikkei index rose 0.34 percent to close at 28,958.56 points, while the broader Topix index fell 0.02 percent to 1956.73 points.

And shipping companies received support from indications of opening more economies in light of the steady distribution of vaccines, and Nippon Yusen shares jumped 3.65 percent, topping the Nikkei index gainers.

Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said during a debate among ruling party leaders on Wednesday that Japan intends to finish vaccinating all its citizens who have applied for doses by October-November.

Eisai shares plunged 7.02 percent, two days after it rose by its daily maximum. US regulators earlier this week approved a drug developed by the company and Biogen for Alzheimer’s disease. The stock has gained 30% since the beginning of the week.

Chugai Pharmaceuticals rose 1.04 percent, and Uno Pharmaceuticals rose 1.5 percent, on a media report that the companies will receive government support for their research on developing anti-Covid-19 drugs.

The TSE air transport index hit a 15-month high before dropping 0.49 percent as investors sold shares on the index to book profits.

(Prepared by Moataz Mohamed for the Arabic Bulletin)

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