TOKYO, Sept 13 (Reuters) - Japanese stocks staged a late
comeback to take the Topix to a three-decade peak on Monday,
buoyed by optimism around a change in the country's prime
minister and easing COVID-19 infections.
The Topix crossed into positive territory in the
final 20 minutes of trading and ended the day up 0.29% at
2,097.71, the highest close since 1990. That extended a
scorching three-week, 11% rally.
The Nikkei share average rose 0.22% to 30,447.37,
marking an almost seven-month closing high.
The gains came despite weakness in global equities overall.
An index of Asia-Pacific shares excluding Japan
slid 1%, in line with Wall Street's declines from Friday.
"There is some caution about how high Japanese stock prices
are after last week's sudden gains, but retail investors in
particular have a strong desire to buy," said a market
participant at a domestic securities firm. "Foreign investors
are also buying."
Iron and steel was the best-performing Topix
sector, followed by oil and coal producers adding
1.56% and 1.48%, respectively, as commodity prices surged.
Banking was the third-best performer, up 1.07%,
as Shinsei Bank rallied for a second day, rising 12.99%
after an unsolicited bid by SBI Holdings on Thursday.
Chipmakers also gained, with Tokyo Electron and
Advantest supporting the Nikkei the most in terms of
index points, rising 1.5% and 1.98%, respectively.
At the other end, transport equipment was the
worst-performing sector on the Topix, dropping 1.39% after
Toyota last week announced extra lost production of
400,000 vehicles over this month and the next.
Japan's biggest automaker slumped 1.65%, while Honda
fell 1.28% and Nissan declined 1.14%.
On the Nikkei, consumer cyclical stocks fell the most, down
0.93%. Uniqlo store operator Fast Retailing was the
third-biggest drag on the index, falling 0.28%.
SoftBank Group was the biggest weight, losing
(Reporting by Tokyo markets team; Editing by Devika Syamnath)