Business / Financial Markets | TSE DATA & REPORT

Chip sector leads Tokyo stocks in modest climb

JIJI

The popularity of the semiconductor sector helped Tokyo stocks extend their gains on Friday.

The 225-issue Nikkei average rose 49.21 points, or 0.22 percent, to end at 22,799.81, rewriting a year-to-date high for the fifth straight session. The key market gauge grew 125.22 points Thursday.

The Topix index of all issues listed on the first section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange finished up 4.70 points, or 0.29 percent, at 1,648.44, after gaining 5.60 points the previous day.

Stocks got off to a higher start led by chip-related issues after U.S. semiconductor giant Intel Corp. showed upbeat earnings estimates on Thursday, brokers said.

The market trimmed gains later in the morning, dragged down by the weaker performance of Shanghai shares and selling to lock in profits ahead of the weekend.

But both the Nikkei and Topix indexes popped up in late trading after moving in narrow ranges amid a dearth of fresh trading incentives.

“Pharmaceuticals as well as semiconductors supported the market,” said Hiroaki Kuramochi, chief market analyst at Capital Partners Securities Co. “But foreign investors moved to take profits.”

Active trading was held in check ahead of the full-fledged start of earnings season in Japan next week and the U.S. Federal Reserve’s two-day Federal Open Market Committee meeting from Tuesday, brokerage house officials said.

On the TSE’s first section, rising issues outnumbered falling ones 1,285 to 735 while 135 issues were unchanged.

Volume shrank to 1.10 billion shares from Thursday’s 1.20 billion shares.

Higher semiconductor-linked issues included chipmaking gear manufacturer Tokyo Electron and test device maker Advantest.

The drug sector’s advance was led by Eisai, which drew unabated popularity thanks to its U.S. partner’s continued pursuit of approval for a new Alzheimer’s treatment.

Among other winners were industrial robot producer Yaskawa Electric and daily goods maker Kao.

On the other hand, securities firms met with selling, with Daiwa going down 1.20 percent and Nomura 1.17 percent.

Electronics maker Sharp extended its losing streak to a fourth session.

Clothing store chain Fast Retailing and technology investor Softbank Group also dropped.

In index futures trading on the Osaka Exchange, the key December contract on the Nikkei average fell 10 points to end at 22,770.

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