Drug makers help Nikkei scale fresh 3-decade high

  • Reuters
  • Stock Market News
Drug makers help Nikkei scale fresh 3-decade high
Credit: © Reuters.

By Junko Fujita

TOKYO, Jan 12 (Reuters) - Japan's benchmark Nikkei share average recovered from early falls on Tuesday to hit a fresh three-decade high, with drug makers leading the charge following a report of another effective COVID-19 treatment.

The Nikkei 225 Index .N225 was up 0.14% at 28,177.81 by 0204 GMT, while the broader Topix .TOPX was down 0.05% to 1,853.96.

"Investors bought back stocks as soon as the market started falling, showing the fundamental strength of demand," said Masahiro Ichikawa, chief market strategist at Sumitomo Mitsui DS Asset Management.

"They got confidence in the market as U.S. futures rose overnight." MKTS/GLOB .N

Chugai Pharmaceutical 4519.T surged almost 7% after a report said one of its drugs was effective for COVID-19 treatment, helping boost the drug maker index .IPHAM.T by 1.52%.

Takeda Pharmaceutical 4502.T rose 3.22%, Eisai 4523.T climbed 2.91%, and Shionogi & Co 4507.T added 1.51%.

Retail stocks also gained, led by a 9% surge in Ryohin Keikaku 7453.T after the Muji retail stores operator posted a 69% jump in quarterly net profit. Lawson 2651.T rose 3.86% and Watts Co 2735.T jumped 9.3%.

Automakers slid after Toyota Motor 7203.T and Honda Motor 7267.T said they would cut vehicle production this month due to a shortage of semiconductors. Motor fell 1.08% and Honda Motor declined 1.35%.

Meanwhile, semiconductor shares rose on prospects of stronger chip demand, with Tokyo Electron 8035.T adding 0.66% and Shin-Etsu Chemical 4063.T climbing 3.13%.

The underperformers among the Topix 30 included Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corp 9432.T , which was down 2.17%, and Seven & i Holdings Co Ltd 3382.T , which lost 1.58%.

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