July 9, 2020 / 7:35 AM / a month ago

Japanese shares rebound but spike in COVID-19 cases caps gains

TOKYO, July 9 (Reuters) - Japanese shares bounced back on Thursday buoyed by technology-related stocks following a rise in U.S. peers overnight, but gains were limited by a surge in domestic coronavirus cases.

The benchmark Nikkei share average rose 0.4% to 22,529.29, clawing back from a 0.78% drop in the previous session. On the Nikkei index, there were 63 advancers against 158 decliners.

The market extended gains after the midday break supported by the Shanghai Compsite stocks rallying into eighth day.

However, investor sentiment was soon dampened by 224 fresh coronavirus cases in Tokyo on Thursday, which hit a record daily high.

The market showed little reaction to data that Japan’s machinery orders unexpectedly rose 1.7% in May after a 12.0% slump in April due to the pandemic.

Domestic technology-related stocks advanced after the Nasdaq marked its fourth record closing high in five days on Wednesday.

Tech conglomerate and Nikkei heavyweight SoftBank Group Corp jumped 4.52%, lifting information and communication to the top performing sector on the main bourse at 1.6%.

Sony Corp added 3.27%, while Yaskawa Electric Corp rose 1.98%.

Eisai Co Ltd climbed 4.84% after the pharmaceutical company and its partner Biogen submitted a marketing application to U.S. regulators for their Alzheimer’s drug.

Trading house Itochu Corp added 0.22% after it announced a tender offer for the rest of FamilyMart Co Ltd . The convenience store, expected to be delisted if the bid is successful, jumped 22.81%.

The broader Topix ended flat at 1,557.24, with all but nine of the 33 sector sub-indexes on the Tokyo exchange trading in negative territory. (Reporting by Eimi Yamamitsu; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila and Shailesh Kuber)

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