Japan’s Nikkei average bounced back from a three-day losing streak on Thursday, lifted by growing expectations that Greece will complete a key debt swap, while a softer yen and signs of recovery in the U.S. labor market underpinned sentiment.
Strong performers included Japan’s top investment bank Nomura Holdings (8604.T), which gained 4.7 percent. Megabanks Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (8306.T), Mizuho Financial Group (8411.T) and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group (8316.T) advanced between 2.3 and 2.7 percent.
The benchmark Nikkei .N225 was up 192.90 points or 2.0 percent to 9,768.96, almost fully recouping losses in the previous three sessions.
The Nikkei volatility index JNIV eased 2.5 percent. The lower the volatility index, the higher the risk appetite.
Domestic investors picked up shares after the three-day correction, which market participants said was the buying opportunity that many were waiting for after February’s more than 10 percent rally.
“I do not feel that we’ve had our last buying opportunity for March. A lot of domestic investors failed to buy at all in February, so they’re picking up now, but I do think there will be at least one more correction in March,” said Kenichi Hirano, operating officer at Tachibana Securities.
Japan’s real estate sector .IRLTY.T outperformed, up 4 percent, after market players said Tokyo office vacancy rate data compiled by real estate broker Miki Shoji declined for the first time in five months.
“What we see gaining today — insurance, real estate and brokers — these so-called “bubble” stocks are supported by excess market liquidity. These have become the core stocks that are driving the market,” said Hirano, adding that there was also buying related to the March settlement of options and futures on Friday.
The broader Topix index .TOPX rose 1.6 percent to 836.16.
Trading volume on the main board dipped, with 2.11 billion shares changing hands, down from 2.25 billion shares on Wednesday, as reported by Reuters.