TOKYO, June 3 (Reuters) - Japanese shares rose on Thursday,
with broad Topix index hitting a more than six-week
high, as a pickup in the country's vaccination drive raised
hopes of the economy recovering from the shackles of the
Nikkei share average rose 0.35% to 29,048.28, facing
an immediate resistance from its 75-day moving average at
The broader Topix rose 0.81% to 1,958.00, hitting
its highest level since April 19.
"Vaccinations are moving much faster than expected, boosting
hopes of reopenings," said Hiroyuki Ueno, senior strategist at
Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Asset Management.
The number of people who have had at least one shot has
topped 10 million, Japanese media reported. The government aims
to finish vaccinating most elderly citizens by the end of July.
Railway companies rose in heavy trade for a second day in a
row, with East Japan Railway jumping 2.6% and Central
Japan Railway adding 1.8%.
Automakers also saw heavy demand on global recovery hopes.
Toyota Motor gained 2.5% while Honda Motor
rose 2.2% and Nissan Motor picked up 1.5%.
Food company Ajinomoto vaulted 3.9% to a five-year
high as it extended its bull runs since its latest earnings and
share buyback announcement last month.
Beer and beverage maker Kirin Holdings rose 2.6%.
On the other hand, Fast Retailing lost 4.6% after
the operator of Uniqlo casual clothing change said its domestic
sales declined 0.6% in May from a year a earlier, the first fall
in a year.
The sizable drop in Fast Retailing, which has the biggest
weight in the Nikkei, curbed the Nikkei's gains compared to
Elsewhere, some of this year's biggest gainers also dropped
on profit-taking, with shippers subindex down 1.9%
and steelmakers falling 0.3%.
(Reporting by Hideyuki Sano; Editing by Rashmi Aich)