Japan’s Nikkei rose for a fourth day on Wednesday, supported by buying of large cap stocks such as Fast Retailing which offset weakness in airlines.
The Nikkei share average ended up 1.0 percent at 22,177.02 points, the highest close since Nov. 12.
Dainippon Sumitomo Pharma added a hefty 19 points to the Nikkei, jumping 18 percent to a level not seen since 1990 after the drugmaker said all the disputes underlying its patent infringement lawsuit for its depression drug Latuda have been resolved.
Chat app operator Line Corp surged 2.7 percent, building on its 13 percent rally on Tuesday on news that it will set up a bank with Mizuho Financial Group Inc and also team up with China’s Tencent Holdings Ltd to offer mobile payment services.
Overall sentiment was underpinned by hope of a possible de-escalation of the U.S.-China trade dispute.
The Japanese market took heart from a rise in U.S. shares overnight, where all three of Wall Street indexes recouped losses after White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said a meeting between President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart on Saturday was an opportunity to “turn the page” on a trade war.
“Pessimistic views regarding the U.S.-China trade war are receding as there seems to be room to reach a deal,” said Masahiro Yamaguchi, senior market analyst at SMBC Trust Bank.
“The worst case scenario would have been that there will be no dialogue between the two leaders so there seems to be no such risk now.”
Still, the market remained cautious in the wake of Trump’s comments this week to the Wall Street Journal that it was “highly unlikely” he would accept China’s request to hold off on a planned increase in tariffs to 25 percent from 10 percent.
Index-heavy Fast Retailing soared 3.6 percent and added 77 positive points to the Nikkei benchmark index.
Bucking the strength, airline shares tumbled after oil prices rose by more than 1 percent ahead of an OPEC meeting next week at which the producer club is expected to decide on a supply cut to counter an emerging glut.
Japan Airlines tumbled 2.7 percent and ANA Holdings dropped 1.2 percent. Fuel prices are a major cost for carriers.