Business / Financial Markets | TSE DATA & REPORT

Nikkei rises modestly as yen falls ahead of Fed chief's testimony

JIJI

The Nikkei 225 average closed modestly higher Tuesday, helped by the yen falling before closely watched congressional testimony by U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell this week.

The benchmark Nikkei rose 30.80 points, or 0.14 percent, to end at 21,565.15 after losing 212.03 points Monday.

But the Topix, which covers all first-section issues on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, finished 3.51 points, or 0.22 percent, down at 1,574.89. It sagged 14.18 points Monday.

The market surged soon after the opening bell, backed by buybacks prompted by the yen’s weakening against the dollar due to some receding of expectations for a big interest rate cut by the Fed following the release Friday of a stronger than expected U.S. jobs report for June, brokers said. The Nikkei gained over 150 points at one point in the morning.

But both the Nikkei and Topix lost steam later, dragged down by a weak performance of Shanghai stocks and lower U.S. index futures in off-hours trading, brokers said.

The Nikkei managed to end higher while the Topix stayed in negative territory throughout the afternoon session.

“The dollar’s top-heaviness versus the yen and the bearish performance of Apple-related names such as electronic parts makers weighed on the Tokyo market,” said Hiroaki Kuramochi, chief market analyst at Capital Partners Securities Co.

The market will stay “headline-driven” amid heightened attention on Powell’s testimony, slated for Wednesday and Thursday, with investors looking for hints of the Fed’s interest rate policy, Kuramochi said.

Falling issues outnumbered rising ones 1,399 to 664 in the first section, while 86 issues were unchanged.

Volume decreased to 988 million shares from 1,078 billion Monday.

Of Apple-related electronic parts makers, Taiyo Yuden plunged 3.96 percent, Murata Manufacturing fell 1.99 percent and TDK dropped 1.51 percent.

Textile maker Toray also met with selling, extending its losing streak to a fifth session.

Among other major losers were technology giant Sony and airline ANA.

Oil names such as JXTG and Idemitsu attracted purchases thanks to higher crude oil prices in New York trading.

Also on the positive side were clothing store chain Fast Retailing and technology investor SoftBank Group.