TOKYO, Feb 8 (Reuters) - Japanese shares surged on Monday,
with both Nikkei and Topix hitting 30-year highs, as strong
corporate earnings lifted investor confidence for an economic
recovery from pandemic lows.
The Nikkei share average jumped 2.12% to 29,388.50,
the highest level since August 1990, while the broader Topix
rose 1.75% to 1,923.95, the highest since June 1991.
That sent the total market value of companies listed on the
Tokyo Stock Exchange's main board to a record high of 712
trillion yen ($6.75 trillion), according to the exchange.
"With the vaccine rollouts and the fall in the number of
daily COVID-19 infections, expectations for normalization of the
economy is rising," said Soichiro Matsumoto, chief investment
officer Japan at Credit Suisse Private Banking.
"Better-than-expected corporate performance in this
environment is also lifting sentiment. Many U.S. firms have
reported upbeat results and Japanese companies, particularly
those sensitive to overseas demand, are following suit."
The S&P 500 and Nasdaq indexes on Friday scored their
biggest weekly percentage gains since early November, powered by
earnings optimism and progress on vaccine rollouts, while
Democrats cleared the path for the approval of President Joe
Biden's $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package.
At home, Kobe Steel surged 17.47% to lead gains on
Nikkei after raising its full-year outlook, while Nippon Steel
jumped 10.04% after trimming its annual net loss
forecast. JFE Holdings rose 6.57%.
Toyota Motor gained 1.45% ahead of its earnings
report on Tuesday.
Railway shares continued to gain, with Odakyu Electric
Railway jumping 3.79%, Keio rising 3.88% and
East Japan Railway gaining 4.85%.
The stocks that gained the most among the top 30 core Topix
names were SoftBank Group, up 4.45 %, followed by
Daikin Industries, which rose 4.38%.
The underperformers among the Topix 30 were Sony,
down 2.85%, followed by Takeda Pharmaceutical, which
($1 = 105.5100 yen)
(Reporting by Junko Fujita; Editing by Devika Syamnath)