Japanese shares gain on global recovery hopes

TOKYO, May 24 (Reuters) – Japanese shares rose on Monday, led by stocks sensitive to global economic growth, as investors cheered upbeat U.S. factory activity data that helped the Dow index end higher in its previous session.

The Nikkei share average gained 0.35% to 28,415.54 by 0209 GMT, while the broader Topix rose 0.59% to 1,914.26.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose on Friday after data showed U.S. factory activity gathered speed in early-May amid strong domestic demand.

“Investors had a renewed view on global economic growth after the rise on the Dow (on Friday), which is why shippers and car makers were strong,” said Shoichi Arisawa, general manager of the investment research department at IwaiCosmo Securities.

“But this trend may not continue for long as there are many uncertainties ahead of us. If the economy grows fast, then there will be possibilities for tapering, which would push stock markets down.”

Sea transport sector gained the most among the 33 sector sub-indexes on the main bourse, with Kawasaki Kisen jumping 5.89% and Mitsui OSK Lines rising 3.55%.

Toyota Motor rose 1.66% to hit a record high, while Honda Motor and Nissan Motor rose 1.75% and 1.21%, respectively.

Cyclical shares that are linked to the domestic economy weighed on the market as Japan continues to see slow progress in its recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic’s damage.

Retailers J.Front Retailing fell 2.48% and Marui Group shed 2.9%, while Isetan Mitsukoshi Holdings lost 1.14%.

Japan expanded a state of emergency to cover the southern island of Okinawa on Friday, while the nation’s second-largest city of Osaka remains under a huge wave of new infections.

The index of Tokyo Stock Exchange’s second section also rose 0.36%, while the Mothers Index of start-up firm shares lost 1.79%.

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