Business / Financial Markets | TSE DATA & REPORT

Nikkei extends gains, lifted by heavyweight components

JIJI

The Nikkei 225 average extended its winning streak to a fourth session Tuesday, boosted by brisk purchases of only a few heavily weighted component issues.

The benchmark index added 52.55 points, or 0.24 percent, to end at 22,221.66, after surging 298.55 points Monday.

But the Topix, which covers all first-section issues on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, finished 1.47 points, or 0.09 percent, lower at 1,626.46. It jumped 22.53 points Monday.

The market got off to a weak start following an overnight drop in U.S. equities. Stocks also met with selling to lock in profits, brokers said.

But after the initial wave of selling subsided, both indexes returned to the sunny side, with the Nikkei remaining higher for the rest of the session. Meanwhile the Topix bowed to selling later in the morning and failed to gather steam until the day’s closing.

The Nikkei’s buoyancy owed thanks to the popularity of closing store chain Fast Retailing, technology investor SoftBank Group and mobile phone carrier KDDI, all heavily weighted Nikkei components. The three issues pushed the Nikkei higher by over 90 points, brokers said.

Yoshihiko Tabei, chief analyst at Naito Securities Co., said the market’s upside was limited as investors were “sitting on the fences” to wait for the outcome of Japan-U.S. trade talks in Washington through Tuesday.

A major brokerage house official forecast that a solid market would continue, pointing to a pickup in market sentiment due partly to a rosier outlook for the Chinese economy.

“The Nikkei will likely consolidate at levels above 22,000 for the time being,” the official said.

Despite the continued rise in the key market gauge, losers outnumbered winners 1,346 to 698 in the first section, while 97 issues were unchanged.

Volume decreased to 1.050 billion shares from 1.225 billion Monday.

KDDI shot up 5.85 percent and SoftBank Group 3.5 percent. The other major mobile phone carrier, NTT Docomo, jumped 3.56 percent. Investors actively bought them back cheering Docomo’s announcement Monday of cuts in mobile communications service fees by up to 40 percent.

Fast Retailing went up 2.32 percent to extend its winning streak to an eighth session.

Among other winners were technology giant Sony and pharmaceutical firm Shionogi.

By contrast, oils, including Idemitsu, Cosmo energy and JXTG, met with selling.

Cybermall operator Rakuten, which is set to enter into mobile phone business, was downbeat following Docomo’s markdown announcement.

Also on the shady side were factory automation equipment maker Keyence and optical equipment producer Olympus.

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