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Japanese Shares Track U.S. Futures Higher, Tech Leads Gains

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TOKYO, Jan 25 Reuters Japanese shares shook off early weakness on Monday, led by tech and pharma stocks, as U.S. futures rose on hopes that lawmakers would soon pass a massive economic stimulus to revive growth in the worlds largest economy.

The Nikkei share average was up 0.34 at 28,728.80 by 0153 GMT after declining 0.2 earlier, while the broader Topix inched up 0.08 to 1,858.17.

U.S. markets moved irregularly last week but investors were relieved this morning after seeing the rise in U.S. futures, said Masahiro Ichikawa, chief market strategist, Sumitomo Mitsui DS Asset Management.

The Joe Biden administration and Democratic and Republican lawmakers discussing a new 1.9 trillion in coronavirus relief agreed on Sunday that the most important priority should be producing and efficiently distributing a vaccine.

The Dow and SP 500 ended modestly lower on Friday, dragged down by losses in bluechip technology stalwarts Intel and IBM following their quarterly results, as hopes for a full economic reopening in the coming months waned.

Meanwhile, tech shares advanced further in Japan. Toshiba surged 15.25 after the Tokyo Stock Exchange approved on Friday the companys return to the bourses first section.

Nikon jumped 6.4, making it the top gainer in the Nikkei index, while ShinEtsu Chemical rose 1.92 and Renesas Electronics added 2.6.

Drugmakers rose on renewed hopes for COVID19 vaccine rollouts. Takeda Pharmaceutical added 3.71 after Japans biggest drugmaker last week…

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