Business / Financial Markets | TSE DATA & REPORT

Tokyo stocks turn slightly up amid yen's weakening

JIJI

Stocks turned modestly higher on the Tokyo Stock Exchange on Thursday, as buying slightly outpaced selling amid the yen’s weakening against the dollar.

The 225-issue Nikkei average rose 19.46 points, or 0.09 percent, to end at 21,540.99, after dropping 187.78 points on Wednesday.

The Topix index of all first-section issues closed up 2.21 points, or 0.14 percent, at 1,567.35. It slid 10.44 points the previous day.

The Tokyo market opened lower in the wake of a continued drop on Wall Street due chiefly to a “hawkish comment” by U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, brokers said.

At a news conference after the Fed decided to cut its policy interest rates by 0.25 percentage point at a two-day Federal Open Market Committee meeting that ended Wednesday, Powell said the move was “a mid-cycle adjustment to policy,” ruling out lengthy rate reductions.

But the market recouped the initial losses and returned to the sunny side in midmorning thanks to buying prompted by the dollar’s appreciation to top ¥109.

In the afternoon, players refrained from active purchases in view of falls in Asian markets, including Shanghai, and a lack of powerful incentives, forcing both the Nikkei and Topix indexes into tight ranges around their previous day’s closing levels.

Yutaka Miura, senior technical analyst at Mizuho Securities Co., said, “The yen dropped to help the market rebound as the dollar regained buying interest amid receding expectations for successive U.S. rate cuts.”

Noting that Powell later suggested the possibility of additional easing, Tomoaki Fujii, head of the investment research division at Akatsuki Securities Inc., said investors took to the sidelines in the afternoon “to see how Wall Street will eventually react” to the Fed chief’s contradictory remarks.

Fujii also pointed out that participants were waiting for the U.S. Institute for Supply Management’s manufacturing index for July, due out later Thursday.

Falling issues outnumbered rising ones 1,062 to 978 in the TSE’s first section, while 109 issues were unchanged.

Volume inched up to 1.36 billion shares from Wednesday’s 1.35 billion shares.

Brokerage giant Nomura Holdings jumped 9.02 percent after it announced vigorous earnings for April to June.

TDK soared 7.79 percent thanks to better-than-expected operating profit for the same period.

Among other winners were game-maker Nintendo and Takeda Pharmaceutical.

By contrast, Kose tumbled 8.38 percent, as the cosmetics maker’s fiscal first-quarter operating profit was significantly lower than the market consensus.

Other major losers included parcel delivery firm Yamato Holdings and paper manufacturer Oji Holdings.

In index futures trading on the Osaka Exchange, the key September contract on the Nikkei average dropped 50 points to end at 21,500.