Tokyo stocks open higher on fresh virus hopes

Tokyo stocks opened higher on Tuesday extending rallies on Wall Street, as investors welcomed news of a newly approved coronavirus treatment.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index was up 1.05 percent or 242.18 points at 23,227.69 in early trade, while the broader Topix index gained 1.07 percent or 17.12 points to 1,624.25.

“Equity investors are looking at the bright side of life with positive virus news outweighing the negative,” Rodrigo Catril, senior strategist at National Australia Bank, said in a commentary.

Among them is “the news that the US Food and Drug Administration is working to expand access to a virus treatment involving blood plasma from recovered patients,” he said.

The dollar fetched 105.99 yen in early Asian trade, against 105.98 yen in New York late Monday.

In Tokyo, Takeda Pharmaceutical was up 0.71 percent at 4.076 yen after it said it would sell its Japanese consumer healthcare business to US fund Blackstone Group at the value of 242 billion yen ($2.3 billion).

Nintendo was down 1.95 percent at 56,200 yen after a report said it could start selling a new model of its Switch game console early next year.

Among other shares, telecom and investment giant SoftBank Group was up 1.22 percent at 6,346 yen and auto giant Toyota was up 1.58 percent at 7,177 yen.

On Wall Street, the Dow ended up 1.4 percent at 28,308.46 points.