Business / Financial Markets | TSE DATA & REPORT

Tokyo stocks climb to 22,410 in thin trading, shrug off U.S.-China trade war

JIJI

The benchmark Nikkei average extended its gains Thursday as buying prompted by the yen’s weakening against the dollar in lackluster trading provided support.

The 225-issue average rose 48.27 points, or 0.22 percent, to end at 22,410.82 on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, after jumping 142.82 points on Wednesday.

The Topix index of all first-section issues edged down 0.15 point, or 0.01 percent, to close at 1,698.22, after gaining 12.95 points the previous day.

Both indexes opened higher, with investor sentiment brightened by an overnight rise in the tech-heavy U.S. Nasdaq composite index and the dollar’s advance against the yen.

The U.S. currency rose against the Australian dollar first, reflecting political uncertainties in Australia, and gained ground vis-a-vis the yen thereafter, brokers said.

But the Tokyo market failed to gather steam after the initial spurt, weighed by weakness in Chinese stocks and a dearth of fresh market-moving factors, they said.

The Nikkei was able to mark a three-session rally as it was “buoyed by the strength of heavily weighted components,” such as clothing retailer Fast Retailing, said Ryuta Otsuka, strategist at the investment information department of Toyo Securities Co.

Shortly past 1 p.m. in Japan on Thursday, the United States slapped additional tariffs on Chinese imports worth $16 billion. China immediately hit back with retaliatory duties on U.S. imports of the same amount.

The tariff battle, however, had little impact on the Tokyo market because it had already been priced in, brokers said.

“The day’s market was largely stable thanks to the absence of bearish factors,” an official of a bank-affiliated securities firm pointed out.

Rising issues outnumbered falling ones 1,317 to 678 in the TSE’s first section, while 109 issues were unchanged.

Volume decreased to 1.081 billion shares, from 1.121 billion shares on Wednesday.

The petroleum sector attracted purchases thanks to higher crude oil prices. Gainers included JXTG, Cosmo Energy, Showa Shell and Idemitsu.

Fast Retailing jumped 2.75 percent on a media report Thursday that the company will beef up its Uniqlo casual clothing store chain in the Asia-Pacific region.

Among other major winners were furniture retailer Nitori, daily goods manufacturer Kao and air conditioner maker Daikin.

By contrast, Mitsui Kinzoku lost 3.88 percent after Daiwa Securities Co. lowered its investment rating and stock target price for the nonferrous metal producer.

Also lower were Mitsubishi Materials, another metal maker, and Ono Pharmaceutical.

In index futures trading on the Osaka Exchange, the key September contract on the Nikkei average advanced 90 points to end at 22,410.