Business / Financial Markets | TSE DATA & REPORT

Tokyo stocks rise again

JIJI

Stocks extended gains Tuesday thanks to a lack of major sellers in dormant trading.

The Nikkei 225 average rose 77.56 points, or 0.37 percent, to end at 21,260.14 after adding 65.36 points Monday.

The Topix, which covers all first-section issues on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, finished 3.99 points, or 0.26 percent, higher at 1,550.99. It gained 5.79 points Monday.

The market opened almost flat, with investors sitting on the fence following the three-day weekend in the United States and Britain.

They also refrained from active trading because there were no releases of closely watched economic indicators overseas overnight and in the early Tokyo morning, brokers said.

But the market soon started going up and continued the rise until midmorning, as buying in Tokyo Electron swelled following the chipmaking gear manufacturer’s announcement the previous day of a plan to buy back shares, they noted.

The Nikkei and Topix both stayed in positive territory throughout the afternoon session.

Behind the day’s rise was lethargic trading by foreign investors, who have been major sellers of Japanese stocks recently, after the long weekend, said Tomoaki Fujii, head of the investment research division at Akatsuki Securities Inc.

“The Nikkei is expected to move mainly between 21,000 and 21,500 for the time being, with no incentives powerful enough to pull the key price gauge out of the range in sight,” said Hiroaki Hiwada, a strategist at Toyo Securities Co.

Despite the rises in the two leading market yardsticks, falling issues slightly outnumbered rising ones 1,040 to 1,012 in the first section, while 89 issues were unchanged.

Volume increased to 1.719 billion shares from Monday’s 901 million.

Although actual trading was inactive, transactions associated with a reshuffle in the component issues of an important index for institutional investors surged, brokers said.

Nissan and Mitsubishi Motors jumped on media reports of a possible merger between their French alliance partner Renault SA and Italian-U.S. auto giant Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV.

Drugstore chain Kusuri No Aoki soared thanks to a rise in same-store sales.

Among other winners were electronics company Sharp and automaker Suzuki.

By contrast, Leopalace21 met with heavy profit-taking selling after a recent jump, brokers said.

Also on the negative side were daily goods supplier Kao and drugmaker Daiichi Sankyo.