Business / Financial Markets | TSE DATA & REPORT

Nikkei ends above 22,000 for first time in five months

JIJI

Stocks inched up Tuesday, with the benchmark Nikkei 225 average closing above 22,000 for the first time in about five months.

The Nikkei rose 13.03 points, or 0.06 percent, to end at 22,001.32, climbing for the 10th straight trading day and achieving the longest winning streak since a 16-session rise in October 2017. The last time the Nikkei finished above 22,000 was April 26.

On Friday, the key market gauge jumped 228.68 points. The market was closed Monday for a national holiday.

The Topix, which covers all issues listed on the TSE’s first section, closed 4.71 points, or 0.29 percent, higher at 1,614.58, extending its winning streak to an eight day after a 14.77-point gain the previous trading day.

After starting lower, pulled down by an overnight drop on Wall Street, both indexes rose to the positive side in midmorning trading thanks to bargain hunting.

The U.S. market’s slump reflected concerns over a slowdown in the Chinese economy following the release of weaker than expected economic indicators and over drone attacks on Saudi Arabian crude oil facilities Saturday.

While the Topix remained in plus territory, the Nikkei fluctuated around Friday’s closing level for the remainder of the day.

A slight weakening of the yen against the dollar also supported the underside of the Tokyo market, brokers said.

Chihiro Ota, general manager for investment research and investor services at SMBC Nikko Securities Inc., said the attacks on Saudi Arabia “did not have a significant effect” on the Tokyo market.

Meanwhile, brokers said both indexes moved in a narrow range in the afternoon as investors waited to see the outcome of the U.S. Federal Reserve’s two-day policy-setting meeting, which starts later Tuesday, and comments by Fed Chairman Jerome Powell after the meeting.

Market players are expected to remain on the sidelines until Wednesday as they “don’t know” what conclusion the Fed will come to at the Federal Open Market Committee meeting, following a surge in New York crude oil futures prices Monday caused by the drone attacks, said Tomoaki Fujii, head of the investment research division at Akatsuki Securities Inc.

Rising issues outnumbered falling ones 1,250 to 792 in the first section, while 109 issues were unchanged.

Volume decreased to 1.336 billion shares from 1.800 billion Friday.

Oil names attracted buying from Monday’s rise in crude oil futures, with Inpex jumping 9.71 percent, Japex 7.89 percent and JXTG 4.64 percent.

Financial issues attracted buying, thanks to buying on dips before the FOMC meeting and the Bank of Japan’s two-day policy-setting meeting starting Wednesday, market sources said. Gainers included mega-bank groups Mitsubishi UFJ and Mizuho.

Yakitori pub chain Torikizoku advanced 7.23 percent in response to its better than expected operating profit for the business year that ended in July.

Among other major winners were clothing store chain Fast Retailing and realtor Mitsui Fudosan.

On the other hand, drugmaker Eisai dropped 2.39 percent after the company announced it will stop clinical studies for an Alzheimer’s drug.

Also on the negative side were technology investor SoftBank Group and industrial robot producer Fanuc.

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