Roundup: Nikkei closes at 6-month high above 30,000 with hopes for new gov't

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TOKYO, Sept. 8 (Xinhua) -- The Nikkei stock index closed Wednesday at a nearly six-month high above the 30,000 mark, up for the eighth successive day, improved by hopes that the pandemic-affected economy could be normalized under an upcoming new government.

The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average finished up 265.07 points, or 0.89 percent, from Tuesday at 30,181.21, its highest closing since March 18.

The broader Topix index of all First Section issues on the Tokyo Stock Exchange ended 16.23 points, or 0.79 percent, higher at 2,079.61.

Gaining issues were led by information and communication, pulp and paper, and metal product issues.

Shares logged the longest increase for this year on expectations for the launch of a possible new economic relief package and COVID-19 response measures under a new leader of the Liberal Democratic Party, namely the prime minister, which is expected to be decided on Sept. 29, brokers said.

The Nikkei previously recorded an eight-day gain in November last year when progress in development of COVID-19 vaccines encouraged the market.

As the daily COVID-19 infection cases showed a downtrend recently, investors are highly expecting the government to perform economic reopening courses such as the use of vaccine passports for commercial purposes, said Koichi Fujishiro, a senior economist at Dai-ichi Life Research Institute.

As Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga has been implementing the restriction of economic activities, his successor would be considered to possibly alter plans and push policies to ease the restrictions, Fujishiro said.

"Investors have become able to paint a scenario that Japan will finally see an economic recovery similar to the one experienced by the United States from this spring," he said, citing gains in shares like restaurants amid progress in Japan's vaccination program.

Among restaurant operators, Watami climbed 2.6 percent, Saizeriya gained 1.7 percent and Royal Holdings rose 1.6 percent.

On the First Section, advancers outnumbered decliners 1,599 to 474, while 116 finished unchanged.

Takeda Pharmaceutical advanced 1.0 percent a day after the health ministry announced Japan will receive 150 million doses of U.S. pharmaceutical giant Novavax Inc.'s COVID-19 vaccine from as early as the beginning of 2022.

Takeda will be responsible for production and distribution of the Novavax vaccine in Japan.

SoftBank Group jumped 4.6 percent a day after the technology conglomerate said it will acquire a stake in Deutsche Telekom AG, which is expected to bring the Japanese company an opportunity of expanding its communications business into Europe.

Automaker Toyota went down 0.3 percent after saying Tuesday it will spend 1.5 trillion yen (13.6 billion U.S. dollars) by 2030 on the development and supply of batteries for electric and hybrid vehicles.

Toyota met selling as investors locked in recent gains, brokers said.

However, Panasonic, running a corporate venture with Toyota to manufacture batteries for EVs, rose 1.2 percent, and GS Yuasa, a lithium-ion battery supplier to Toyota, grew 3.8 percent.

Trading volume on the main section increased to 1,320.22 million shares from Tuesday's 1,257.38 million shares. Enditem

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