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Nikkei snaps five-session losing streak on buying on dips

JIJI

Stocks rebounded on the Tokyo Stock Exchange on Monday supported by purchases on dips, with the benchmark Nikkei average snapping its five-session losing streak.

The 225-issue Nikkei average rose 104.29 points, or 0.56 percent, from Friday to end at 18,873.35. On Friday, the key market gauge shed 20.63 points.

The Topix index of all first-section issues closed up 13.03 points, or 0.86 percent, at 1,529.22, after losing 7.43 points the previous trading day.

Tokyo stocks kicked off the final 2015 week firmer thanks to buybacks and buying on dips after the Nikkei average lost nearly 600 points, or 3 percent, during the five sessions through Friday.

After the initial buying ran its course, the market’s topside grew heavy, with the Nikkei average briefly falling into negative territory in the absence of major buying factors.

In the afternoon, however, the key market yardstick moved north to gain up to over 150 points in thin trading, brokers said.

“The day’s trading was much thinner than Friday,” which was Christmas Day, said Chihiro Ota, general manager for investment research and investor services at SMBC Nikko Securities Inc.

Monday’s trading value in the TSE’s first section hit a 2015 low of 1,543 billion yen, down from 1,604 billion yen the previous session.

As for the afternoon rally, Ota expressed the view that investors increasingly became hopeful about, at least to some extent, the course of Japan’s industrial production.

Before the opening bell, the government announced that the nation’s industrial output in November fell 1.0 percent from October, but is expected to expand 0.9 percent in December and 6.0 percent in January.

Tokyo stocks are expected to rise further before this year’s trading ends on Wednesday, some brokers said.

But a Japanese securities firm official warned that the market could show volatile moves amid thin year-end trading.

Rising issues far outnumbered falling ones 1,570 to 327 in the TSE’s first section, while 29 issues were unchanged.

Volume fell to 1.56 billion shares from Friday’s 1.91 billion shares.

Shipping firms Nippon Yusen and Mitsui O.S.K. Lines were buoyant along with utilities Tepco and Kyushu Electric.

Also on the plus side were automakers Toyota and Mazda, electronics producers Sony and Toshiba, megabanks Mitsubishi UFJ, Mizuho and Sumitomo Mitsui.

Japan Post Holdings and its two financial units attracted buying before they become components of the Topix index on Wednesday.

By contrast, clothing store chain operator Fast Retailing, tire maker Bridgestone and department store chain operator J. Front Retailing met with selling.

In index futures trading on the Osaka Exchange, the key March contract on the Nikkei average advanced 180 points to end at 18,900.