Tokyo: Japanese stocks rose 3% on Thursday, with metal shares such as Sumitomo Metal Mining Co Ltd extending gains on surging copper prices, with gold near an all-time high and platinum also firmer.
Large-scale buying of futures also helped lift the market overall as investors bought back shares sold off on Wednesday, when the Nikkei average tumbled 3.3%.
“Though it’s hard to know for sure, there’s been a pattern recently of large purchases of futures in the afternoon, often by foreigners, so it’s possible this is the same,” said Takashi Ushio, head of the investment strategy division at Marusan Securities.
“Otherwise, a lot of what we’re seeing is likely to be investors buying back shares sold yesterday, when the Nikkei fell more than 400 points.”
At 0422 GMT the benchmark Nikkei was up 3.3% 13,764.94 and the broader TOPIX up 2.9% at 1,340.54.
Sumitomo Metal Mining soared 16% to 2,175 yen, helped by a recent surge in copper prices and UBS’s lifting its rating on the miner to “buy” from “neutral”, citing growth in core segments such as copper, nickel and gold.
Other non-ferrous metal shares also rose. Zinc smelter Toho Zinc Co Ltd climbed 11.7% to 546 yen and ferronickel maker Pacific Metals Co Ltd rose 10.33% to 1,068 yen.
Sumitomo Metal Mining and Toho Zinc were the greatest contributors to the Nikkei by volume weight.
Pioneer Corp rose 7.5% to 1,172 yen after Credit Suisse lifted its rating on the electronics maker to “outperform” from “neutral.”