Shares in Tokyo rose by 1.2 percent Monday as players took their cue from the surge in US stocks at the end of last week, brokers said.
The Tokyo Stock Exchange's Nikkei-225 index gained 182.01 points to close at 15,512.32, recovering from Friday's close at 15,330.31, the index's lowest finish since March 9, 1999.
The Topix of all issues on the stock exchange's first section rose 11.02 points to 1,451.42.
Trading volume was estimated at 431 million shares from Friday's 583.5 million shares.
"Strong sentiment in the US market is buoying Tokyo sentiment," said Masaaki Higashida, deputy head of investment information at Nomura Securities Co. Ltd.
"US shares had been traded at very low levels for roughly a month but now they are showing signs of recovery," he said.
On Friday the tech-heavy Nasdaq rebounded spectacularly with a gain of 241.86 points, or 7.9 percent, to close at 3,316.54, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 157.60 percent, or 1.6 percent, to 10,192.18.
The Nasdaq's surge was its second biggest ever in percentage terms and the fourth largest points gain.
US shares had been depressed by a recent series of disappointing corporate earnings announcements.
"Maybe the US market is starting to digest the disappointing corporate results and look for new incentives," Higashida said. "That's taken as good news in the Tokyo market."
Although the Nikkei index surged a robust 357.86 points, or 2.3 percent, in the morning session, its gains were capped during the afternoon session by quick profit taking.
"Buying sentiment subsided in the afternoon session as investors were still worried over the future course of the US stock market," said Hiroichi Nishi, senior market analyst at Nikko Securities.
"Many investors have yet to feel secure about moves in US shares and expect more volatile moves ahead," Nishi said, adding that violence in the Middle East and rising oil prices also pressured buying sentiment.
Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak was playing host to a crucial summit Monday in an effort to end the violence in Israel and the Palestinian territories.
Israeli Prime Minister, Ehud Barak, Palestinian leader, Yasser Arafat, US President Bill Clinton, Jordan's King Abdullah II and UN Secretary General Kofi Annan will join the summit.
Meanwhile in Tokyo, winners in the index were hi-tech shares.
Semiconductor testing firm Advantest Corp. jumped 500 yen to 18,000 and Japan's top computer company Fujitsu Ltd. rose 90, or 4.1 percent, to 2,290.
Electronic parts maker TDK Corp. rose 270 yen to 12,500 and Toshiba Corp. gained 18 to 870.
Mobile telephone firm NTT DoCoMo Inc. rose 80 yen to 3,170. – (AFP).
© Agence France Presse 2000
© 2000 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)