The 225-issue Nikkei average rebounded Thursday amid optimism over the upcoming high-level U.S.-China trade talks overcoming pessimism.
The 225-issue Nikkei average rose 95.60 points, or 0.45 percent, to end at 21,551.98, after falling 131.40 points Wednesday.
Meanwhile, the Topix index of all issues listed on the first section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange was down 0.28 point, or 0.02 percent, at 1,581.42. It sagged 4.80 points the previous day.
The market got off to a weak start and expanded losses toward midmorning, with sentiment battered by a media report that the United States and China made no progress on key trade issues in two-day deputy-level talks held ahead of the ministerial talks starting in Washington later Thursday, brokers said.
But both the Nikkei and Topix indexes began ascending when positive news related to U.S.-China trade hit the market, including one account saying the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump will soon allow some American firms to supply nonsensitive goods to Chinese telecom giant Huawei Technologies Co., brokers said.
In the afternoon, the Nikkei remained in positive territory while the broader index failed to stay buoyant amid a dearth of fresh buying incentives after popping into the sunny side.
“Although the Nikkei went up, investors were largely reluctant to trade actively prior to the U.S.-China trade talks and the earnings season in the United States from next week,” said Masayuki Otani, chief market analyst at Securities Japan Inc.
“Only short-term players, such as hedge funds, were active today,” said an official at a major securities firm.
Falling issues outpaced rising ones 1,458 to 595 on the first section, while 100 issues were unchanged.
Volume rose to 1.069 billion shares from Wednesday’s 1.045 billion shares.
Shipping firms attracted buying, with Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha jumping 4.70 percent and Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha 1.72 percent.
Asahi Kasei Corp. rose 1.76 percent on purchases to “celebrate” the winning of the 2019 Nobel Prize in chemistry by Akira Yoshino, honorary fellow of the chemical-maker.
Clothing store chain Fast Retailing Co. and technology investor Softbank Group Corp., both component stocks of the Nikkei average, were also bought.
Meanwhile, technology giant Sony Corp. extended its losing streak to a fourth session.
Among other losers were cosmetics maker Shiseido Co. and industrial robot producer Fanuc Corp.
In index futures trading on the Osaka Exchange, the key December contract on the Nikkei average gained 80 points to end at 21,520.