Business / Financial Markets | TSE DATA & REPORT

Nikkei hits one-year high on hopes for U.S.-China trade deal

JIJI

Tokyo stocks gained further ground Wednesday amid renewed hopes for progress in U.S.-China trade talks, sending the key Nikkei average to a fresh one-year high.

The 225-issue Nikkei average rose 76.48 points, or 0.34 percent, to end at 22,625.38, the highest closing since October 18, 2018, after gaining 56.22 points Monday. The Tokyo market was closed Tuesday for a special national holiday.

The Topix index of all issues listed on the first section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange was up 9.54 points, or 0.59 percent, at 1,638.14. It added 6.61 points the previous market day.

After opening higher, the market quickly sank into negative territory, weighed by the weakness of semiconductor-related issues seen after U.S. chip giant Texas Instruments Inc. issued a profit warning Tuesday, brokers said.

But the Nikkei and Topix indexes both showed resilience helped by White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow’s comments Monday suggesting that trade talks with China are making progress toward the signing of a partial deal.

The market accelerated its upswing in the latter half of afternoon trading, thanks to Shanghai shares trimming their losses.

“The bleaker earnings projections by Texas Instruments dampened optimism over a semiconductor market recovery,” said Ryuta Otsuka, strategist at the investment information department of Toyo Securities Co.

“Investors failed to become fully bullish ahead of electronic parts maker Nidec’s earnings report and amid lingering concerns over Britain’s “no-deal” exit from the European Union,” Otsuka also said.

On the TSE’s first section, rising issues outnumbered falling ones 1,531 to 535, while 89 issues were unchanged.

Volume increased to 1.189 billion shares from Monday’s 891 million shares.

Financials, including megabank group Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc. and insurer Dai-ichi Life Holdings Inc., attracted purchases across the board following rises in their U.S. peers Tuesday.

Eisai Co. rocketed 18.07 percent after its U.S. research partner Biogen Inc. announced that it will aim to gain regulatory approval for an Alzheimer’s treatment.

Among other winners were air conditioner-maker Daikin Industries and industrial robot producer Yaskawa Electric Corp.

By contrast, Sumitomo Chemical Co. plunged due to a downward revision to its net profit projection for the year to March 2020.

Among the battered semiconductor-related names, chipmaker Renesas Electronics Corp. fell 5.26 percent, chipmaking gear manufacturer Tokyo Electron 4.11 percent and silicon wafer producer Sumco Corp. 2.62 percent.

Also on the negative side were technology investor Softbank Group Corp. and clothing store chain Fast Retailing Co.

In index futures trading on the Osaka Exchange, the key December contract on the Nikkei average rose 80 points to end at 22,650.