Nikkei rises on Wall Street rally, softer yen; China virus fears weigh

  • Reuters
  • Stock Market News
Nikkei rises on Wall Street rally, softer yen; China virus fears weigh
Credit: © Reuters.

TOKYO, Feb 5 (Reuters) - Japanese shares climbed more than 1% on Wednesday as gains on Wall Street and a weaker yen buoyed investor sentiment, although the rally was limited by worries over the fast-spreading coronavirus outbreak.

The benchmark Nikkei average .N225 rose 1.2% to 23,350.00 by the midday break, while the broader Topix .TOPX added 1% to 1,701.71.

All but one of the 33 sector subindexes on the Tokyo Stock Exchange were in positive territory, led by textiles .ITXTL.T non-ferrous metals .INFRO.T and insurance .IINSU.T .

On Wall Street, the Nasdaq .IXIC jumped 2.1% to a record high on Tuesday, while the S&P 500 .SPX and the Dow .DJI advanced 1.7% each as investors took heart from China's efforts to minimise the economic impact from the coronavirus epidemic. .N

The safe-haven yen nursed losses versus the dollar and was last at 109.48 yen JPY=EBS , close to a one-week low hit on Tuesday, providing a tailwind for Japanese exporters. A weaker yen boosts corporate profits when they are repatriated.

Sharp Corp 6753.T climbed 1.7% after the electronics company reported a 38.5% increase in third-quarter operating profit, due to gains at its smart appliance division and cost-reduction efforts. Corp 6752.T continued its advance, with the share ending the morning session up 2.1%, two days after the electronics conglomerate said its automotive battery venture with Tesla Inc TSLA.O was in the black for the first time. Corp 6758.T gained 0.4% in a choppy trade after the firm raised its annual profit outlook, due to strong sales of smartphone image sensors. However, it warned of an impact from the Wuhan coronavirus on its global supply chain. traders doubted the rally is sustainable, noting the lingering concerns about the virus outbreak and its broader economic and market impact.

The death toll from the flu-like virus that originated in China's central city of Wuhan has passed 490, as two U.S. airlines suspended flights to Hong Kong following the first fatality there and 10 cases were confirmed on a quarantined Japanese cruise ship.

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