Business / Financial Markets | TSE DATA & REPORT

Nikkei turns moderately higher on Wall Street rally

JIJI

The benchmark Nikkei average rebounded modestly on the Tokyo Stock Exchange Wednesday, aided by an extended rally on Wall Street.

The 225-issue Nikkei average climbed 29.61 points, or 0.14 percent, to end at 20,874.06, after gaining over 120 points in morning trading. On Wednesday, the key market gauge lost 39.32 points.

On the other hand, the Topix index of all first-section issues closed down 0.75 point, or 0.05 percent, at 1,582.13. It added 1.55 points the previous day.

The Tokyo market got off to a firmer start after the Dow Jones industrial average extended its winning streak to a third session on the New York Stock Exchange on Tuesday, thanks partly to Boeing Co.’s brisk earnings report, brokers said.

In the afternoon, profit-taking weighed on stocks. But the Nikkei managed to remain afloat backed by purchases of mainstay issues, while the Topix sank into negative territory toward the day’s closing.

“Although sentiment has been good so far this week, reflecting rises in overseas equities, there have been no buying incentives strong enough to push the Nikkei above the psychologically important threshold of 21,000,” said Hiroaki Hiwada, strategist at Toyo Securities Co.

The key index came close to the line but failed to break it for the fourth session in a row.

One reason for the market’s top-heaviness on Wednesday was investor reluctance to boost buying before seeing Softbank Group’s earnings report, due to be released after the closing, Hiwada pointed out.

U.S. President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address, delivered while the Tokyo market was in session, had little impact on trading, brokers said.

Falling issues outnumbered rising ones 1,106 to 936 in the TSE’s first section, while 85 issues were unchanged.

Volume increased to 1.250 billion shares from Tuesday’s 1.228 billion shares.

Cosmetics makers attracted purchases in the wake of U.S. peer Estee Lauder’s surge on Wall Street. Shiseido advanced 4.57 percent, Kose 3.53 percent and Fancl 2.42 percent.

Musical instrument-maker Yamaha jumped 12.67 percent on its strong business performance and announcement of an own-share buyback plan.

Other major winners included clothing retailer Fast Retailing and drugmaker Takeda.

By contrast, mobile game app developer DeNA slumped 3.14 percent following its profit warning for the year to March.

Automaker Suzuki dropped 4.33 percent due to its report on disappointing earnings in the April-December period.

Also on the minus side were technology giant Sony and game-maker Nintendo.

In index futures trading on the Osaka Exchange, the key March contract on the Nikkei average rose 40 points to end at 20,870.