The Nikkei 225 closed 0.5% higher Wednesday, after a strong opening on overnight Wall Street cues and staying on the upside on the outlook for a COVID-19 vaccine in 2021. Gains were pared in afternoon on media reports the Tokyo metropolitan government plans to ask restaurants and other nightspots to shorten business hours for the next three weeks, to help dampen the current COVID-19 outbreak in the capital city.
The benchmark Nikkei 225 rose 131.27 to 26,296.86, a fresh 29-year high, as gaining issues outnumbered losers 124 to 95.
Leading the upside were Nissan Motors (NSANY, 7201:Tokyo), up 7.0%, followed by imaging-house Konica Minolta (KNCAY, 4902:Tokyo), up 6.3%, and then shipping-line Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha (KAIKY, 9197:Tokyo), up 6.0%.
On the downside were food company Nicherei (NCHEY, 2871:Tokyo) off 3.6%, and then heavy-equipment maker Kubota (KUBTY, 6326:Tokyo), also off 3.6%.
In other news, a Ministry of Finance advisory panel on Wednesday warned that the government must pursue "wise spending" to back digital transformation and better productivity. The panel urged the government to step up efforts to achieve a primary budget surplus (a surplus, if debt payment are excluded) by the fiscal year ending in March 2026.