Japanese stocks rise to a week's high on hopes of coronavirus slowdown, Wall St rally

  • Reuters
Japanese stocks rise to a week's high on hopes of coronavirus slowdown, Wall St rally

SYDNEY, April 7 (Reuters) - Tokyo shares gained on Tuesday, supported by tentative signs of the coronavirus crisis likely levelling off in New York and other global hot spots, with long-only investors still awaiting details of Japan's massive economic stimulus package.

The benchmark Nikkei average .N225 rose 1.3% to 18,808.53 by the midday break, its highest level since March 31, tracking sharp gains in Wall Street stocks overnight.

U.S. stocks rallied on Monday, with the S&P 500 .SPX , Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI , and Nasdaq Composite .IXIC all rallying more than 7%, encouraged by the slowing death toll from the virus in global hot spots, including New York and Italy. .N

The broader Topix .TOPX rose 1.2% to 1,392.99, with nearly four-fifths of the 33 sector sub-indexes on the exchange trading in positive territory.

Stocks that were battered more in recent weeks fared better on Tuesday.

Tokyo Electron Ltd 8035.T climbed 5.1% and Advantest Corp 6857.T soared 10.4% after U.S. Philadelphia semiconductor index .SOX jumped 10.4% overnight. Samsung Electronics Co Ltd 's 005930.KS better-than-expected profit also provided a tailwind. traders said it is just a short-covering rally and lacks conviction.

Many long-term investors are waiting for the details of Japan's $1-trillion economic stimulus package, analysts said.

The government is planning to finalise a massive stimulus package worth 108 trillion yen - equal to 20% of Japan's economic output - to cushion the heavy impact of the pandemic on the world's third-largest economy. Minister Shinzo Abe will hold a news conference at 7 p.m. (1000 GMT), after seeking formal advice on declaring the emergency from a panel of experts.

Abe is also set to announce a state of emergency on Tuesday for the capital, Tokyo, and six other prefectures to stem a worrying rise in coronavirus infections in major population centres.

Elsewhere, Takeda Pharmaceutical Co Ltd 4502.T advanced 3.1% on the news that blood products giant CSL Behring has joined forces with the Japanese drugmaker to develop a COVID-19 plasma treatment.

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