The benchmark Nikkei average closed marginally higher on the Tokyo Stock Exchange on Wednesday, after U.S. shares staged a rebound overnight.
The 225-issue Nikkei average rose 10.92 points, or 0.05 percent, to end at 21,283.37. Tuesday, it dropped 29.28 points.
On the other hand, the Topix index of all first-section issues finished down 4.09 points, or 0.26 percent, at 1,546.21, after losing 4.62 points the previous day.
The Nikkei made a firm start thanks to robust U.S. equities and the yen’s weakening.
The Wall Street rebound came as concerns over the U.S.-China trade row eased somewhat due to Washington’s decision to loosen its trade restrictions on China’s Huawei Technologies Co., brokers said.
The key index soon lost steam, however, partly weighed down by a drop in Shanghai equities and a slight rebound of the yen, they said. It intermittently fell into negative territory in the afternoon.
An asset management company official attributed the Nikkei’s sluggish afternoon performance to a media report that the U.S. government is considering limiting access to U.S. technologies by as many as five Chinese firms, including major surveillance-equipment-maker Hangzhou Hikvision Digital Technology Co.
The new U.S. move, if realized, would further fuel the trade tensions between the United States and China, market sources said.
Chihiro Ota, general manager for investment research and investor services at SMBC Nikko Securities Inc., said that Japan’s machinery order data and trade statistics, both announced on Wednesday, “did not affect the market.”
The country’s seasonally adjusted core machinery orders in March increased 3.8 percent from the previous month to ¥868.8 billion, up for the second straight month, according to the Cabinet Office data. Its customs-cleared trade surplus in April plunged 90.3 percent from a year before to 60.4 billion yen, the statistics from the Finance Ministry showed.
Falling issues outnumbered rising ones 1,097 to 945 on the TSE’s first section, while 99 issues were unchanged.
Volume decreased to 1.203 billion shares from Tuesday’s 1.254 billion shares.
Cosmetics makers, including Shiseido Co. and Kose Corp., rose after the Japan National Tourism Organization said Tuesday that the estimated number of foreign visitors to Japan hit a monthly record high in April.
Kawasaki Heavy Industries and Toho Titanium Co. also gained ground.
Suzuki Motor Corp. dropped 5.52 percent on a media report that the Competition Commission of India has started looking into a suspected anti-competitive practice at an Indian unit of the company.
Parcel delivery firm Yamato Holdings Co. and railway operator West Japan Railway Co. were also out of favor.
In index futures trading on the Osaka Exchange, the key June contract on the Nikkei average was up 30 points at 21,280.