Tokyo stocks close sharply higher after lifting state of emergency


TOKYO: Tokyo stocks opened higher yesterday after Japan lifted a nationwide state of emergency over the coronavirus, gradually reopening the world’s third-largest economy.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index was up 0.86 percent, or 177.91 points, at 20,919.56 in early trade, while the broader Topix index edged up 0.67 percent, or 10.03 points, to 1,512.23.

“The lifting of state of emergency is supporting the Japanese market” amid a lack of clues from US and British markets which were closed for public holidays, Okasan Online Securities chief strategist Yoshihiro Ito said in a commentary.

Japan lifted a nationwide state of emergency late Monday over the coronavirus but government officials warned caution was still necessary to prevent another wave.

Compared with hard-hit areas in Europe, the United States, Russia and Brazil, Japan has been spared the worst of the pandemic, with around 16,600 infections and 830 deaths.

But on April 7, with cases beginning to spike and fears for the country’s health system, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe declared a state of emergency for Tokyo and six other regions — later expanding it to cover the entire nation. The emergency was lifted for much of the country last week, but the government opted to wait before removing the measures in the capital and surrounding areas, as well as hard-hit northern Hokkaido. —Agencies


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