Business / Financial Markets | TSE DATA & REPORT

Tokyo stocks end marginally higher

JIJI

Stocks ended a little higher Tuesday, helped by position-adjustment buying prior to the Golden Week holidays that start this Saturday.

The Nikkei 225 average gained 41.84 points, or 0.19 percent, to end at 22,259.74, after rising 17.34 points Monday.

The Topix, which covers all first-section issues on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, closed 4.35 points, or 0.27 percent, higher at 1,622.97. It added 1.69 points Monday.

Both indexes extended their winning streaks to a third session.

The Nikkei sank into negative territory briefly due chiefly to selling of clothing store chain Fast Retailing, a weighted component of the index, to lock in profits, market sources said.

The index firmed toward the close. On the whole, however, most investors took a wait-and-see stance before the full-fledged earnings season starts in Japan and the United States later this week, the sources said.

Stocks were supported by “repurchases and buying backed by hope for higher prices after the holiday,” said Mitsuo Shimizu, chief strategist at Aizawa Securities Co.

An official of a bank-affiliated securities firm said Tuesday’s directionless trading was driven by individual players as there were few foreign investors.

Tomoaki Fujii, head of the investment research division at Akatsuki Securities Inc., said the market is already in a holiday mood.

“Both buying and selling were held in check,” he said.

Rising issues outnumbered falling ones 1,234 to 779 in the first section, while 127 issues were unchanged.

Volume grew to 995 million shares from Monday’s 869 million.

Higher crude oil prices lifted oil companies Inpex, Idemitsu, Japex, Cosmo Energy and JXTG.

Also hunted were Daiwa House, air conditioner manufacturer Daikin and drugmaker Shionogi.

By contrast, Fast Retailing closed 1.84 percent lower.

Nishimatsuya Chain was downbeat the day after the clothing store operator reported sluggish sales for April.

Other major losers included Tokai Carbon and daily goods maker Kao.