Tokyo stocks close higher on Trump health
Tokyo stocks closed higher on Monday as investors responded positively to US President Donald Trump signalling that his health is improving after contracting the coronavirus.
The benchmark Nikkei 225 index rose 1.23 percent, or 282.24 points, to end at 23,312.14, while the broader Topix index advanced 1.74 percent or 28.03 points, to 1,637.25.
"Reports that US President Trump could be discharged as early as today gave a relief to investors, prompting purchases," Daiwa Securities said in a commentary.
But others noted the upside is capped as investors kept close watch on how Trump's health develops.
Trump waved at supporters from a motorcade Sunday on a short drive outside the hospital where he is being treated for COVID-19.
But he was criticised by the medical community for the protocol-breaking visit to his supporters outside the hospital where he is being treated for the highly infectious virus.
He was masked as he waved from inside his bulletproof vehicle during the short trip outside Walter Reed Military Medical Center near Washington, which appeared designed to take back the narrative on his improving health after a weekend of muddled messaging from his doctors.
The last-minute outing came with Trump's doctors satisfied enough about his progress to suggest the possibility he might discharged on Monday.
But experts complained that the outing broke his own government's public health guidelines requiring patients to isolate while they are in treatment and still shedding virus -- and endangered his Secret Service protection.
The dollar fetched 105.58 yen in Asian trade, against 105.37 yen in New York late Friday.
In Tokyo, Sony was up 1.79 percent at 7,892 yen, Honda rose 2.58 percent to 2,561.5 yen, and Nippon Steel rallied 5.97 percent to 1,042 yen.
Tourism-linked firms were among winners on expectations the industry will pick up with domestic travel increasing.
Japan Airlines rose 2.95 percent to 2,024.5 yen, its rival ANA Holdings ended up 2.38 percent at 2,490 yen and Shinkansen bullet-train operator Central Japan Railway climbed 6.22 percent to 15,615 yen.