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Japan Shares End Higher on Vaccine Roll-Outs, BOJ Tankan

Japanese shares closed higher on Monday as progress on COVID-19 vaccine roll-outs globally lifted risk sentiment, while a Bank of Japan survey showed business sentiment in December improved at the fastest pace in nearly two decades.

The Nikkei share average rose 0.3% to 26,732.44, rebounding from its first weekly loss in six. The broader Topix gained 0.48% to 1,790.52, its highest close since October 2018.

All but six of the 33 sector sub-indexes on the Tokyo exchange ended higher, with highly cyclical shippers and machinery among the top performing sectors on the main bourse.

The market tracked U.S. stock futures higher on growing hopes of a swift global economic recovery amid progress on COVID-19 vaccines, with the first shipments speeding across the United States.

The Bank of Japan’s tankan survey also supported market sentiment, as the mood among big manufacturers improved for the second straight quarter to minus 10 this month from minus 27 in September.

But shares pared some early gains in the afternoon, following news that Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga could further restrict a travel subsidy programme to contain mounting infections at coronavirus meeting later in the day.

Japan reported a record of more than 3,000 new daily coronavirus infections on Saturday and the capital Tokyo confirmed 621 new cases.

Toyota Motor rose nearly 1.7% to hit its highest level since early February, supported by the launch of its revamped hydrogen fuel cell car as well as by solid November Chinese auto sales data.

Nintendo jumped 3.13% as the Kyoto-based gaming company continued to benefit from tougher social restrictions.

Elsewhere, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries soared more than 7.5% after the Nikkei daily newspaper reported on Friday that the company-led project to build a new fighter plane would be joined by U.S. aerospace company Lockheed Martin Corp .

(Reporting by Eimi Yamamitsu; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

Source: Reuters

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