Nikkei heads for biggest monthly gain in decades

  • Reuters
  • Stock Market News
Nikkei heads for biggest monthly gain in decades
Credit: © Reuters.

TOKYO, Nov 30 (Reuters) - Japan's benchmark Nikkei steadied on Monday, on course for its biggest monthly gain in decades, as optimism over progress in COVID-19 vaccine development and fading uncertainty surrounding the U.S. election boosted investor appetite in risk assets.

The Nikkei share average .N225 was nearly flat at 26,666.91 points by the midday break. The index was poised to add nearly 16% in November, its biggest monthly gain since Jan 1994.

The broader Topix .TOPX was also poised to mark its best month since April 2013, despite losing 0.46% to 1,778.37 earlier in the session.

Global markets were dominated by a surge in risk appetite this month on Joe Biden's U.S. presidential win and on promising news surrounding vaccine efficacy rates.

Japanese equities continued on a strong note on Monday after Wall Street ended higher last week, but later pared gains on selling pressure due to profit-booking and month-end adjustments.

The dollar fell 0.25% to 103.87 against the Japanese yen JPY=EBS in the morning trade, also providing headwind for export-oriented stocks, analysts said.

All but eight of the 33 sector sub-indexes on the Tokyo exchange traded lower, with oil and coal products .IPETE.T and miners .IMING.T leading the declines.

The aviation .IAIRL.T and land transport .IRAIL.T sectors took a hit, down 2.48% and 1.19% respectively, due to the rising number of domestic coronavirus cases.

ANA Holdings 9202.T fell as much as 1.4% in early trade before trading 0.49% higher as the airline said on Friday it would issue new shares to raise $3.2 billion. individual gainers, Nikkei heavyweight SoftBank Group Corp 9984.T rose more than 1.7%, supported by risk sentiment, to hit its highest level since April 2000.

NEC Corp 6701.T edged 0.71% higher after the Nikkei daily reported that the company was to promote Chief Financial Officer Takayuki Morita to the position of its chief executive officer.

the Mothers Index .MTHR of start-up firms added 0.71%.

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