TOKYO, Sept 8 (Reuters) - Japanese stocks on Tuesday rose
for the first time in three days as investors focused on
COVID-19 vaccine developments and held on to hopes that global
economic growth will continue to recover from the coronavirus
Bucking the uptrend were shares of SoftBank Group,
which slumped to a two-month low after the company bought large
amounts of call options on U.S. technology stocks.
The Nikkei 225 Index rose 0.42% to 23,186.45 by 0129
GMT, with consumer discretionary and consumer staples shares
leading the gains. The broader Topix rose 0.18%.
Japanese shares were buoyed by gains in U.S. stock futures
during Asian trading, but some investors avoided taking big
positions because U.S. financial markets were closed on Monday
for Labor Day holiday.
Data, which showed the number of coronavirus infections in
Tokyo are trending lower, also supported the stock market.
The stocks that gained the most among the top 30 core Topix
names were job placement company Recruit Holdings Co Ltd
up 3.07%, followed by mobile carrier KDDI Corp
The underperformers among the Topix 30 were games maker
Nintendo Co Ltd down 3.43%, followed by auto maker
Honda Motor Co Ltd losing 1.29%.
SoftBank Group skidded by 2.4% on Tuesday, adding to an
already hefty 7.2% decline in the previous session.
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.
There were 154 advancers in the Nikkei index against 67
decliners on Tuesday.
Japan's economy contracted in the first quarter more than
initially reported, revised data showed earlier on Tuesday, but
stocks took the downbeat numbers in their stride.
The volume of shares traded on the Tokyo Stock Exchange's
main board was 0.36 billion, compared with the average
of 1.16 billion in the past 30 days.
(Reporting by Stanley White, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)