Amid thin trading before this weekend’s three-day holiday, stocks extended gains on the Tokyo Stock Exchange on Friday.
The 225-issue Nikkei average advanced 34.64 points, or 0.16 percent, to end at 22,079.09. On Thursday, the key market gauge climbed 83.74 points.
The Topix index of all issues listed on the TSE first section closed up 0.57 point, or 0.04 percent, at 1,616.23, after rising 9.04 points the previous day.
The market rose gradually in the morning, buoyed by the solid Shanghai market and a sense of relief among market players over a halt in the yen’s strengthening against the dollar, brokers said.
The yen’s rise reflected disappointment over the Bank of Japan’s decision to forgo an additional monetary easing step at a two-day policy-setting meeting that ended Thursday.
During the afternoon, the key indexes crept down toward Thursday’s closing levels amid sluggish trading, pressured by profit-taking and position-adjusting selling before the three-day weekend. The Tokyo market will be closed Monday for a national holiday.
While the Topix briefly dipped into negative territory in the late afternoon, the Nikkei managed to stay on the sunny side throughout the day.
Tomoaki Fujii, head of the investment research division at Akatsuki Securities Inc., said that the market in the afternoon “was weighed down by a slight rise of the yen against the dollar.”
Noting that the Tokyo market was significantly affected by the yen-dollar rate Thursday, Fujii said, “Market players are paying close attention to exchange rate movements for the time being.”
Rising issues outnumbered falling ones 1,157 to 886 in the first section, while 108 issues were unchanged.
Volume increased to 1.45 billion shares from Thursday’s 1.33 billion.
Mobile game developer Colopl and game maker Square Enix jumped 11.46 percent and 2.07 percent, respectively, in response to news that their Dragon Quest Walk game has hit 5 million downloads.
Issues related to the 2019 Rugby World Cup, which opened Friday evening, attracted buying before the event’s opening, with sportswear maker Goldwin rising 1.63 percent and Taisho Pharmaceutical Holdings, an official partner of the Brave Blossoms, Japan’s national team, climbing 1.26 percent.
Also on the positive side were technology investor SoftBank Group and optical equipment maker Olympus.
On the other hand, housing construction materials seller Nice Holdings plunged 10.80 percent in response to the TSE’s designation of the company as an issue that requires special attention.
Other major losers included parcel delivery company Yamato Holdings and industrial robot producer Fanuc.
In index futures trading on the Osaka Exchange, the key December contract on the Nikkei average rose 40 points to end at 21,910.
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