Roundup: Tokyo stocks snap 3-day losing streak on bargain hunting, eased Fed woes

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TOKYO, Jan. 12 (Xinhua) -- Tokyo stocks bounced back on Wednesday, gaining almost 2 percent and bringing an end to a three-day losing streak as investors sought out bargains, with Wall Street's overnight rise adding support.

The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average gained 543.18 points, or 1.92 percent, from Tuesday to close the day at 28,765.66.

The broader Topix index of all First Section issues on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, meanwhile, added 32.54 points, or 1.64 percent, to finish at 2,019.36.

Local brokers said that investors snapped-up issues oversold during the three-day rout, spurred on by remarks made by U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell that were not as hawkish as expected.

As for bargain hunting, Norihiro Fujito, senior investment strategist at Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities Co., said, "The market has been extremely volatile since the end of last year. Recent sharp losses triggered bargain hunting in some stocks."

Other market analysts pointed to ongoing concerns about the future of U.S. monetary policy as having a bearing on the market recently.

Investors have been jittery of late over the Fed's possible plan to hike its interest rate at an earlier juncture than median market expectations.

"Powell's remarks were not as hawkish as we had expected, and that boosted the U.S. growth stocks and the Japanese market followed suit," Ikuo Mitsui, fund manager at Aizawa Securities, was quoted as saying.

"But this momentum may not last for long because we have U.S. consumer price data, and depending on its outcome the U.S. market may decline, which will affect the Japanese market," Mitsui added.

Dealers here said the market shrugged off, for the time being, Japan's sharply rising COVID-19 crisis, which has weighed heavily on sentiment recently.

In Tokyo, 2,198 new daily coronavirus cases were confirmed Wednesday, compared to 962 the previous day, marking the largest number of new infections in over four months, as the Omicron variant of the virus continues to spread rampantly.

By the close of play, issues that rose outpaced those that fell by 1,924 to 219, while 42 ended the day unchanged, with mining, marine transportation and metal product issues leading gainers.

Heavily weighted issues advanced, with SoftBank Group leaping 6.0 percent, while Tokyo Electron gained 3.7 percent.

Uniqlo clothing shop owner Fast Retailing, meanwhile, closed around 1.7 percent higher.

Tech issues were given a boost by the tech-heavy U.S. Nasdaq Composite Index rising overnight, with motor maker Nidec adding 2.6 percent, while sensor maker Keyence closed the day 5 percent higher.

Industrial robot maker Yaskawa Electric, meanwhile, advanced 2.2 percent, following an upbeat earnings report for the nine months through November.

On the main section on Wednesday, 1,197.95 million shares changed hands, dropping from Tuesday's volume of 1,246.77 million shares.

The turnover came to 3,015.11 billion yen (26.14 billion U.S. dollars). Enditem

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