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Japan's Nikkei index up 2% to pre-pandemic levels at one point

South Korea, Indonesia, Taiwan benchmarks also up on coronavirus vaccine hopes

The Nikkei Stock Average recovered to pre-pandemic levels during the trading session on Aug.25, buoyed by hopes for a coronavirus vaccine and treatments. (Photo by Yo Inoue) 

TOKYO -- Japan's benchmark Nikkei Stock Average rose sharply Tuesday, hitting a six-month high and reaching levels not seen since the coronavirus induced sell-off, as hopes for a vaccine and treatments for COVID-19 prompted investors to buy.

The Nikkei index at one point climbed more than 400 points, or close to 2%, to reach 23,431 and hit pre-pandemic levels during the session. Shares lost momentum toward the end of the day, closing 311 points, or 1.3%, higher at 23,296.

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