Business / Financial Markets | TSE DATA & REPORT

Nikkei climbs to 20,711 as wait-and-see mood prevails ahead of Fed chief's speech

JIJI

Stocks extended their gains Friday as trading remained lethargic ahead of a speech by U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell at a symposium in Wyoming.

The 225-issue Nikkei average rose 82.90 points, or 0.40 percent, to close at 20,710.91 on the Tokyo Stock Exchange. On Thursday, the key market gauge advanced 9.44 points.

The Topix index of all first-section issues finished up 4.19 points, or 0.28 percent, at 1,502.25, after rising 0.55 point the previous day.

After starting slightly weaker, the Nikkei turned up on the yen’s drop against the dollar, robust Chinese stocks and an uptick in futures on the U.S. Dow Jones industrial average in off-hours trading.

In the afternoon, Tokyo stocks moved in a narrow range as players retreated to the sidelines prior to Powell’s speech at the closely watched annual financial symposium in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, later Friday.

“The market was quiet before the weekend and the Fed chief’s speech, with few foreign players taking part in trading,” Chihiro Ota, general manager for investment research and investor services at SMBC Nikko Securities Inc., said.

“Investors are reluctant to move their positions until they confirm whether Powell will make dovish or hawkish comments” on interest rates in the speech, Tomoaki Fujii, head of the investment research division at Akatsuki Securities Inc., noted.

Rising issues outnumbered falling ones 1,104 to 933 on the TSE’s first section, while 113 issues were unchanged.

Volume decreased to 907 million shares from Thursday’s 974 million shares.

Defense-related issues attracted buying after South Korea’s decision Thursday to terminate its military intelligence-sharing pact with Japan increased concerns about geopolitical risks in East Asia. Ishikawa Seisakusho jumped 3.51 percent and Howa Machinery 4.25 percent.

Mega-bank groups Mizuho, Mitsubishi UFJ and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial advanced thanks to a rise in U.S. long-term interest rates.

Nishimatsuya Chain, a seller of children’s clothing, rose 2.75 percent after the company said in a preliminary report Thursday that same-store and all-store sales in August rose 2.9 percent and 6.2 percent, respectively, on a year-on-year basis.

Among other winners were retailer FamilyMart Uny and chip-making equipment maker Tokyo Electron.

On the other hand, network integrator Net One Systems dropped 2.43 percent, extending its losing streak to a third day.

Mobile phone carrier KDDI fell for the first time in six trading days.

Losers also included optical equipment maker Olympus and electronic parts producer Nitto Denko.

In index futures trading on the Osaka Exchange, the key September contract on the Nikkei average rose 100 points to 20,720.

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