Roundup: Tokyo stocks surge on Suga's intent not to seek re-election, Topix index hits 30-year record

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TOKYO, Sept. 3 (Xinhua) -- Tokyo stocks finished sharply higher Friday following Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga announced his intention not to seek re-election as the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) leader, as the Nikkei rose more than 2 percent and the Topix index ended at a 30-year high.

The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average finished 584.60 points, or 2.05 percent, higher from Thursday at 29,128.11, which was the highest level since June 16.

The Topix index of all First Section issues on the Tokyo Stock Exchange closed 31.88 points, or 1.61 percent, higher at 2,015.45, which was the highest level since April 18, 1991.

Trading volume on the main section increased to 1,243.10 million shares from Thursday's 1,058.06 million shares.

The Tokyo market finished the day with its fifth consecutive increase. Suga's announcement of giving up running for the LDP leadership race promoted both indexes rising sharply amid the increasing criticism over the ineffective response to the COVID-19 pandemic of Suga's government.

Following the surge of stock market led investors to sell the safe-haven debt, the yield on the benchmark 10-year Japanese government bond increased 0.005 percentage points from Thursday's close to 0.035 percent.

Masahiro Yamaguchi, the head of investment research at SMBC Trust Bank, said, "The market reacted positively for the time being amid high expectations for new COVID-19 countermeasures and economic policies under a different government, although the next LDP leader has yet to be determined."

A new prime minister of Japan brought hopes for alternative policies to lift the current sluggish economy under the pandemic, as the measures taking place under the Suga government appear to face a deadlock, Yamaguchi said.

By the close of play, every sector rose ground, with iron and steel, electric appliance, and machinery issues heading the upward trend. Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones 1,768 to 343, while 77 finished unchanged.

Maki Sawada, a strategist in Nomura Securities Co.'s investment content department, said that due to high expectations for fresh economic measures against the COVID-19 fallout, issues sensitive to domestic demand such as steelmakers, performed strongly in the day, with Nippon Steel and Kobe Steel surging 5.0 percent and 4.5 percent, respectively.

After reports stating that the Japanese government is mulling allowing establishments with implemented anti-COVID-19 measures to offer alcohol from October or November even under the state of emergency, some eatery-related firms rose accordingly.

Kushikatsu Tanaka Holdings jumped 7.0 percent, and Torikizoku Holdings finished 3.9 percent higher.

Energy-related shares also moved upward, supported by the increase of crude oil futures in the U.S. market. Refiner Eneos Holdings gained 1.6 percent, and oil explorer Inpex increased 1.2 percent. Enditem

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