Business / Financial Markets | TSE DATA & REPORT

Tokyo stocks end slightly higher after tottering

JIJI

Tokyo stocks managed to extend gains Thursday after struggling for direction in the dearth of powerful trading incentives.

The 225-issue Nikkei average advanced 26.50 points, or 0.11 percent, to end at 23,330.32 on the Tokyo Stock Exchange. On Wednesday, the key market gauge rose 51.83 points.

The Topix index of all issues listed on the TSE’s first section finished up 3.68 points, or 0.22 percent, at 1,698.13, after rising 0.29 point the previous day.

Tokyo stocks seesawed in the morning as did U.S. equities on Wednesday.

The market was pressured by selling to lock in profits following the recent rally. But at the same time, shares backed by robust earnings attracted buying, brokers said.

Amid a lack of major events, the Nikkei moved on a weak tone in the afternoon before popping into positive territory in final minutes of the day’s trading, while the Topix index hovered slightly above the previous day’s closing level.

Yutaka Miura, senior technical analyst at Mizuho Securities Co., pointed out that sentiment was dampened by a media report that U.S. President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, may not sign the so-called phase one trade deal until December.

“Investors grew concerned that U.S.-China trade negotiations have hit a snag,” he said.

Masahiro Ichikawa, senior strategist at Sumitomo Mitsui DS Asset Management Co., however, said, “The market was supported by the view that the signing will eventually take place.”

On the TSE’s first section, falling issues slightly outnumbered rising ones 1,070 to 984 while 99 issues were unchanged. Volume dropped to 1.267 billion shares from Wednesday’s 1.388 billion shares.

Optical equipment-maker Olympus Corp. surged 15.18 percent thanks to its April-September operating profit exceeding a market consensus.

Automaker Toyota Motor Corp. rose 1.14 percent following its announcements of higher-than-expected operating profit for the same fiscal first-half period and an own-share buyback plan.

Among other major winners were Nissin Foods Holdings Co. and Pan Pacific International Holdings Corp., which runs Don Quijote discount stores.

On the other hand, Softbank Group Corp. sank 2.22 percent, as the technology investor’s fiscal first-half operating and net profits failed to beat market consensuses.

Silicon wafer producer Sumco Corp. plunged 4.81 percent due to its profit warning for the business year ending in December.

Also on the negative side were drug startup PeptiDream Inc. and air conditioner-maker Daikin Industries.

In index futures trading on the Osaka Exchange, the key December contract on the Nikkei average rose 60 points to end at 23,360.

GET THE BEST OF THE JAPAN TIMES
IN FIVE EASY PIECES WITH TAKE 5