Stocks staged a modest rebound Friday after struggling for direction amid a dearth of fresh trading incentives.
The 225-issue Nikkei average rose 13.16 points, or 0.06 percent, to end at 20,418.81 on the Tokyo Stock Exchange. On Thursday, the key market gauge gave up 249.48 points.
The Topix index of all first-section issues finished up 1.44 points, or 0.10 percent, at 1,485.29, after shedding 15.65 points the previous day.
Selling took the upper hand at the outset following the Dow Jones industrial average’s weaker-than-expected rebound on the New York Stock Exchange, a poor performance on the tech-heavy Nasdaq composite index and falls in European stocks.
But the Tokyo market looked up after the initial sell orders were executed thanks to buybacks and bargain-hunting, brokers said.
Both the Nikkei and Topix returned to the sunny side toward noon. But they came under selling pressure again in early afternoon trading and hovered around their previous day’s closing levels for the rest of the day due to the absence of market-moving news, they added.
Masahiro Ichikawa, senior strategist at Sumitomo Mitsui DS Asset Management Co., pointed out that the market was underpinned by Shanghai shares’ bullishness and Dow futures’ rise in off-hours trading.
But at the same time Ichikawa said that the market’s topside was capped as “investors found it difficult to buy actively due to, among others, the U.S.-China trade dispute and political turmoil in Europe.”
Concerns about a possible global recession and the ongoing civil unrest in Hong Kong also dampened sentiment, Yutaka Miura, senior technical analyst at Mizuho Securities Co., noted.
Rising issues outnumbered falling ones 1,057 to 982 in the TSE’s first section, while 111 issues were unchanged.
Volume dropped to 993 million shares from Thursday’s 1.138 billion shares.
Chip-making gear manufacturers Screen and Tokyo Electron attracted buying along with other semiconductor-related issues after U.S. chipmaker Nvidia’s quarterly earnings topped Wall Street expectations.
Hitachi Chemical jumped 10.89 percent on a media report that it has received acquisition proposals.
Among other winners were brokerage giant Nomura Holdings and major realtor Mitsui Fudosan.
On the other hand, job information service firm Recruit Holdings fell for the fourth consecutive session.
Also on the negative side were supermarket chain Kobe Bussan and technology investor SoftBank Group.
In index futures trading on the Osaka Exchange, the key September contract on the Nikkei average rose 10 points to end at 20,390.