Business / Financial Markets | TSE DATA & REPORT

Nikkei stretches winning streak to fifth market day

JIJI

The benchmark Nikkei average rose for the fifth straight session on the Tokyo Stock Exchange on Wednesday, aided by an overnight rebound in U.S. equities.

The 225-issue average gained 56.31 points, or 0.25 percent, to end at 22,277.97. On Tuesday, the key market gauge advanced 52.55 points.

The Topix index of all first-section issues finished up 4.22 points, or 0.26 percent, at 1,630.68, after falling 1.47 points the previous day.

The Tokyo market got off to a higher start, tracking a Wall Street rally on Tuesday.

Selling seemingly to lock in profits took the upper hand in midmorning trading amid the yen’s strengthening against the dollar, briefly pushing down both Nikkei and Topix indexes into negative territory.

The market soon took an upturn on renewed buying by investors who took heart from stronger-than-expected Chinese economic data released Wednesday, such as January-March gross domestic product and March industrial production, brokers said.

In the afternoon, the price indexes moved sideways amid a dearth of fresh trading incentives.

Expectations grew further for an end to the U.S.-China trade dispute and a pickup in the Chinese economy, an official of a major brokerage firm said.

But, referring to the market’s top-heaviness in the afternoon, Ryuta Otsuka, strategist at the investment information department of Toyo Securities Co., said investors “found it difficult to buy actively” ahead of the release of earnings reports by major Japanese companies and the 10-day national holiday from April 27.

The first round of Japan-U.S. trade talks, which ended in Washington on Tuesday, had little impact on the overall market because no concrete result was shown, brokers said.

Rising issues outnumbered falling ones 1,220 to 803 in the TSE’s first section, while 118 issues were unchanged.

Volume increased to 1.27 billion shares from Tuesday’s 1.05 billion shares.

Semiconductor-related issues attracted purchases after their U.S. peers fared well overnight. Major gainers included Advantest, Screen and Sumco.

Automakers, including Toyota, Nissan and Suzuki, rose as there were no media reports about tough U.S. demands for the Japanese auto sector in the trade talks, brokers said.

Clothing store chain Fast Retailing continued to attract purchases, hitting a listing-to-date high in afternoon trading.

Kyushu Electric was sharply lower on a downward revision in its earnings estimates for the year that ended in March.

Also sold were technology investor SoftBank Group and mobile phone carrier KDDI.

In index futures trading on the Osaka Exchange, the key June contract on the Nikkei average rose 50 points to end at 22,270.