TOKYO, Aug 25 (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei share average on
Tuesday briefly recovered to levels before the COVID-19 crisis
hammered markets early this year, as sentiment was boosted by
treatment hopes, but pared back gains after investors booked
The benchmark Nikkei share average rose 1.35% to
23,296.77, after rising as high as 23,431.04, a level unseen
since Feb. 21.
There were 207 advancers on the index against 16 decliners.
The broader Topix gained 1.13% to 1,625.23. All but
three of the 33 sector sub-indexes on the Tokyo exchange traded
higher, with airlines, textiles and
banking being the three top performers.
The rally in early trade was due to "positive headlines
about the coronavirus," said Hideyuki Ishiguro, senior
strategist at Daiwa Securities.
"If economic recovery progresses with developments of the
coronavirus vaccines for example, Nikkei could rise to around
24,000 on stock buybacks in the short term," he added.
All three major indexes on Wall Street closed higher
overnight as President Donald Trump hailed the U.S. Food and
Drug Administration's authorisation of a COVID-19 treatment that
uses blood plasma from recovered patients.
The Trump administration was also considering fast-tracking
an experimental COVID-19 vaccine, the Financial Times reported.
Providing additional support to risk appetite, Japan's
capital Tokyo reported 95 new coronavirus cases on Monday, the
lowest single-day tally since July 8.
Separately, worries over U.S.-China relations eased as the
U.S. Trade Representative's Office said top U.S. and Chinese
officials saw progress on resolving issues over the Phase 1
trade deal, and both sides were committed to the success of the
Among top performing sectors, airlines rose 6.03% after
U.S.-listed peers jumped overnight. ANA Holdings spiked
7.18%, while Japan Airlines added 4.65%.
Nintendo hit a 12-year high before reversing course
to trade 2.25% lower on profit-taking.
(Reporting by Eimi Yamamitsu; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu and