(Bloomberg) — Frenzied buying from retail traders sent Japan’s renewable energy stocks soaring Monday as Taro Kono — a politician known for opposing nuclear power — emerged as a top contender to become prime minister.
Renova Inc., which operates solar and biomass power plants, soared 15% while solar energy firm West Holdings Co. jumped more than 9% to a record high. Nuclear power names were notable loser for the day, with Kansai Electric Power Co. dropping 2.7%.
The surge of interest from individual investors comes weeks ahead of a decision by ruling party members on who will succeed Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, and before it is know whether Kono would stick with an anti-nuclear stance if he became leader. Kono topped media polls over the weekend when people were asked for their preferred leader.
READ: Going Green in Japan Way Cheaper Than Startup Punt
“Whether he will actually reflect his previous stance into his policies once the race for the prime minister position begins is a different story,” said Norihiro Fujito, chief investment strategist at Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities Co. in Tokyo. “The market is just getting ahead of itself.”
Among other stocks to climb Monday, Tess Holdings Co., a provider of energy saving systems, jumped 7% while gremz Inc., which also offers of cost-effective energy products and services, added 6.6%. NPC Inc., a developer of solar cells, rose 5.2% while biomass power company eRex Co. rallied 7.8%.
READ: Here’s Who to Look Out for in the Race to Succeed Suga
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