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Japanese shares jump nearly 2% as vaccine rollouts lift recovery hopes

TOKYO, May 28 (Reuters) - Japanese shares jumped on Friday, as investors scooped up stocks after sell-offs due to MSCI’s reshuffle in the previous session, while progress in the country’s vaccination drive lifted risk appetite on prospects of a swift economic recovery.

The Nikkei share average crossed the 29,000 level for the first time since May 11, jumping 1.95% to 29,106.86, as of 0205 GMT. The index is poised for a weekly gain of 2.8%.

The broader Topix advanced 1.79% to 1,945,21.

“The rise is too much today and the gain is not reflecting the fundamental strength of the Japanese markets,” Shuji Hosoi, senior strategist at Daiwa Securities, said.

“This is a rebound from yesterday’s sell-offs that were related to MSCI’s regular reshuffle as well as profit-taking towards the end of the month.”

The Nikkei snapped a five-day winning run in the previous session, with a daily turnover swelling to the highest in more than three years, as 29 names were dropped from the MSCI’s main index.

Rollouts of COVID-19 vaccines have contributed to positive sentiment as investors hope a steady vaccination drive can help accelerate economic recovery, market participants said.

The gains were led by cyclical shares, with steel makers and machinery makers gaining the most among the 33 sub-indexes of the main bourse.

Toyo Seikan Group Holdings, up 7.9%, was the largest percentage gainer on the Nikkei, followed by Hino Motors gaining 7.14% and Yaskawa Electric Corp up 6.57%.

The largest percentage loser was CyberAgent down 3.4%, followed by Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma, losing 1.85% and Takeda Pharmaceutical down by 1.42%.

There were 209 advancers in the Nikkei index against 14 decliners. (Reporting by Junko Fujita, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)

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