Business / Financial Markets | TSE DATA & REPORT

Nikkei turns higher on Wall Street rally as concerns over Syria ease

JIJI

Stocks rebounded on the Tokyo Stock Exchange on Friday, supported by an overnight rally in U.S. equities.

The 225-issue Nikkei average added 118.46 points, or 0.55 percent, to end at 21,778.74. On Thursday, the key market gauge lost 26.82 points.

The Topix index of all first-section issues was up 10.84 points, or 0.63 percent, at 1,729.36, after slumping 6.78 points the previous day.

The gains came after Wall Street rose on Thursday due mainly to easing concerns about the geopolitical risks over Syria.

Investors also took heart from the yen’s weakening against the dollar.

Both indices lost steam following their initial strength due to profit-taking and selling on rallies, brokers said.

“A risk-off mood retreated” after U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted that he had never mentioned when a military attack on Syria would take place, said an official of a bank-affiliated brokerage firm.

The U.S. president’s reported intention to study his country’s possible return to Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact talks also helped improve market sentiment by easing concerns over protectionism, the official said.

But stocks were hit by position-adjustment selling ahead of the weekend, said Masahiro Ichikawa, senior strategist at Sumitomo Mitsui Asset Management Co.

Rising issues outnumbered falling ones 1,368 to 638 in the TSE’s first section, while 76 issues were unchanged.

Volume increased to 1.527 billion shares from 1.310 billion shares on Thursday.

Gains in banking shares in New York trading on Thursday lifted banking groups including Mitsubishi UFJ, Mizuho Financial and Sumitomo Mitsui.

Shipping firms Nippon Yusen, Mitsui O.S.K. Lines and Kawasaki Kisen attracted buying on news of the United States’ possible return to the TPP.

Other major winners included high-tech names Tokyo Electron, Sumco, Screen and Kyocera.

Major losers included drug makers Takeda and Ono Pharmaceutical, as well as cosmetics makers Shiseido and Kose.

In index futures trading on the Osaka Exchange, the key June contract on the Nikkei average gained 150 points to close at 21,810.