Roundup: Tokyo stocks close sharply higher, as high-tech shares rise

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TOKYO, Dec. 8 (Xinhua) -- Tokyo stocks closed largely higher Wednesday, supported by growths in technology shares following an overnight climb of U.S. high-tech shares, with sentiment further lifted as concerns were eased over the Omicron variant of COVID-19.

The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average finished up 405.02 points, or 1.42 percent, from Tuesday at 28,860.62.

The broader Topix index of all First Section issues on the Tokyo Stock Exchange ended 12.39 points, or 0.62 percent, higher at 2,002.24.

Gaining issues were led by precision instrument, pharmaceutical, and electric machinery issues.

Stocks gained ground from the outset, tracking sharp overnight advances on Wall Street, and continued to advance in the afternoon as sentiment was encouraged by a climb in some Asian markets.

However, shares were still top-heavy as the Nikkei index gradually approached the psychological threshold of 29,000, while investors locked in gains a day after the benchmark soared nearly 2 percent on fading concerns over the Omicron variant.

"The market has calmed down after fears abated of a worst-case scenario regarding the new strain, such as lockdowns seen under the spread of the Delta variant," said Masahiro Yamaguchi, head of investment research at SMBC Trust Bank.

A rise in stock futures boosted the market further, he said.

Meanwhile, a series of blue chips, pushed the overall market up, including Tokyo Electron, Fanuc and Fast Retailing, brokers said.

Among high-tech issues, Tokyo Electron grew 1,720 yen (15 U.S. dollars), or 2.8 percent, to 62,910 yen (554 dollars), Advantest rose 230 yen (2 dollars), or 2.3 percent, to 10,400 yen (92 dollars), and Fanuc jumped 955 yen (8 dollars), or 4.1 percent, to 24,500 yen (216 dollars).

Fast Retailing, the operator of the Uniqlo clothing chain, increased 890 yen (7 dollars), or 1.3 percent, to 68,750 yen (606 dollars).

Shionogi advanced 143 yen (1 dollar), or 1.9 percent, to 7,693 yen (68 dollars), after its president told media that the pharmaceutical firm is planning to supply its oral COVID-19 drug currently in development to international markets.

On the First Section, advancers outnumbered decliners 1,195 to 904, while 85 ended unchanged.

Trading volume on the main section dropped to 1,219.77 million shares from Tuesday's 1,291.11 million shares. Enditem

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