Business / Financial Markets | TSE DATA & REPORT

Buying of technology-linked shares helps Tokyo stocks end on a firmer note

JIJI

Stocks closed marginally higher after mixed trading on the Tokyo Stock Exchange on Friday, thanks to a ripple effect of an overnight rally on Wall Street led by technology buying.

The 225-issue Nikkei average gained 18.42 points, or 0.09 percent, to end at 21,627.34, the best finish since March 5. On Wednesday, the key market gauge gained 42.07 points. The market was closed Thursday due to a national holiday.

The Topic index of all first-section issues closed up 2.72 points, or 0.17 percent, at 1,617.11, after rising 4.16 points the previous trading day.

The Tokyo market got off to a firmer start after active buying of technology issues let the New York market turn up to snap its two-day losing streak Thursday.

But later in the morning both the Nikkei and Topix gauges came under increased selling pressure amid the yen’s strengthening against the dollar and sank into negative territory, brokers said.

In the afternoon, unabated buying interest, chiefly in technology stocks, helped prevent the market from bowing deeper to selling, also induced by drops in long-term interest rates. In addition, the market’s downside was supported by buying on a dip, brokers said.

Chihiro Ota, general manager for investment research and investor services at SMBC Nikko Securities Inc., pointed out that the U.S. Federal Reserve’s latest “super-dovish” move pushed down the dollar against the yen to spur futures-linked selling.

He was referring to the Fed’s indication after its policy-setting meeting through Wednesday that there will be no interest rate increase this year.

“The market’s upside was heavy due also to falls in Chinese stocks,” said Yutaka Miura, senior technical analyst at Mizuho Securities Co.

Rising issues outnumbered falling ones 1,392 to 653 in the TSE’s first section, while 95 issues were unchanged.

Volume grew to 1.36 billion shares from Wednesday’s 1.14 billion.

Chip-making equipment manufacturer Tokyo Electron fared well along with electronic parts makers TDK and Kyocera.

Also bought were automaker Suzuki, optical equipment maker Olympus and technology investor SoftBank Group.

By contrast, Eisai tumbled 16.55 percent with allowable single-day point losses following its decision to stop a late-phase clinical trial of an Alzheimer’s disease treatment. Its peers Astellas, Takeda and Shionogi also met with selling.

Lower long-term interest rates battered mega-bank groups including Mitsubishi UFJ and Sumitomo Mitsui.

In index futures trading on the Osaka Exchange, the key June contract on the Nikkei average sagged 90 points to end at 21,340.