SYDNEY, June 26 (Reuters) - Japanese shares bounced back on Friday, tracking overnight Wall Street gains, with banks leading the rally in both markets, after U.S. banking regulators’ decision to relax some rules allayed fears over a spike in new coronavirus cases.
The benchmark Nikkei average rose 1.0% to 22,474.65 by the midday break. For the week, it was nearly flat so far.
Wall Street’s main indexes closed higher on Thursday, with bank stocks soaring after U.S. banking regulators unveiled new rules that will make life easier for large banks with complex trading and investment portfolios. It helped to offset investor jitters over alarming increases in new coronavirus cases.
Riding on the positive wave, shares in Tokyo-listed banks also gained, with Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG) Inc , Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group (SMFG) Inc and Mizuho Financial Group Inc rising between 1.6% and 1.9%.
The benchmark Nikkei’s heavyweight SoftBank Group Corp advanced 3.5% as the tech conglomerate said after the market close on Thursday that it would buy back up to 5.75% of own shares worth 500 billion yen ($4.7 billion) through March 31, 2021.
The broader Topix rose 0.8% to 1,573.57 by the midday recess, with all but six of the 33 sector sub-indexes on the Tokyo exchange trading higher.
Financial-related securities, banking and insurance were among the top performing sector subindexes on the main bourse.
Bucking the overall gaining trend, the index of Mothers start-up shares fell 1.1%, after touching its highest level since Oct. 2, 2018 earlier in the session. ($1 = 107.1700 yen) (Reporting by Tomo Uetake; Editing by Rashmi Aich)