TOKYO, Aug 25 (Reuters) - Japanese shares rose on Tuesday,
trading close to levels before the COVID-19 crisis hammered
markets early this year, as new developments on the COVID-19
vaccine and treatment fronts lifted sentiment and spurred hopes
of a quicker economic recovery.
The benchmark Nikkei share average gained 1.71% to
23,378.47 by the midday break, just a hair below 23,386.74, and
a level unseen since Feb. 21. There were 216 advancers on the
index against nine decliners.
The broader Topix gained 1.51% to 1,631.33. All but
two of the 33 sector sub-indexes on the Tokyo exchange traded
higher, with airlines, textiles and
insurance being the three top performers.
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 5.81% after
U.S.-listed peers jumped overnight. ANA Holdings
climbed 6.44%, while Japan Airlines added 5.07%.
Nintendo hit a 12-year high before reversing course
to trade 1.73% lower on profit-taking.
(Reporting by Eimi Yamamitsu; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)