TOKYO, Sept 8 (Reuters) - Japanese stocks rose on Tuesday
for the first time in three sessions, as investors focused on
COVID-19 vaccine developments and held on to hopes that global
economic growth will continue to recover from the coronavirus
Conglomerate SoftBank Group, however, extended
falls to hit a two-month low. It settled down 0.61%, adding to
the previous session's hefty 7.2% decline as the company bought
large amounts of call options on U.S. technology stocks.
The company has spent billions of dollars buying shares in
technology companies such as Amazon and has also made
significant options purchases in tech companies, sources
familiar with the matter told Reuters.
Traders said they now wanted to see whether U.S. tech shares
recover from the last week's rout.
The Nikkei 225 Index ended 0.8% higher at 23,274.13,
with consumer discretionary and consumer staples shares leading
the gains. The broader Topix rose 0.69%.
Japanese shares were also buoyed by gains in U.S. stock
futures during Asian trading. U.S. financial markets were closed
on Monday for the Labor Day holiday.
The Japanese government approved on Tuesday spending from
emergency budget reserves to secure coronavirus vaccines, which
supported investor sentiment.
The stocks that gained the most among the top 30 core Topix
names were job placement company Recruit Holdings Co Ltd
, up 2.62%, followed by mobile carrier NTT Docomo Inc
, rising 2.3%.
The underperformers among the Topix 30 were games maker
Nintendo Co Ltd, down 3.26%, followed by auto maker
Honda Motor Co Ltd, losing 1.59%.
There were 169 advancers in the Nikkei index against 51
Japan's economy contracted more in the second quarter than
initially reported, revised data showed, but stocks took the
downbeat numbers in their stride.
The volume of shares traded on the Tokyo Stock Exchange's
main board was 1.07 billion, compared with the average
of 1.16 billion in the past 30 days.
(Reporting by Stanley White, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)