The benchmark Nikkei stock average bounced back in Tokyo on Thursday, although a wait-and-see mood continued ahead of big events.
The 225-issue Nikkei average on the Tokyo Stock Exchange climbed 32.95 points, or 0.14 percent, to end at 23,424.81 after falling 18.33 points Wednesday.
Meanwhile, the Topix index of all TSE first-section issues finished down 2.12 points, or 0.12 percent, at 1,712.83 after a 5.82-point drop the previous day.
After opening higher following an overnight Wall Street gain, the Tokyo market slid into the minus side in midmorning trading, weighed down by a strengthening of the yen against the dollar, brokers said.
The Nikkei average gradually cut its losses and then turned positive, thanks to a rise in the semiconductor sector and a halt in the yen’s appreciation, they added.
Trading was sluggish in the afternoon due to a dearth of strong trading incentives.
Investors were reluctant to tilt their positions either way ahead of Britain’s general election later Thursday and Sunday’s deadline for planned additional U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods, the brokers said.
Yutaka Miura, senior technical analyst at Mizuho Securities Co., said that the U.S. Federal Reserve’s two-day policy-setting meeting had “little effect” on Tokyo stocks as “the results were within what the market had expected.”
At the meeting, which ended Wednesday, the Fed left interest rates unchanged and signaled that it would maintain the current rates next year.
Miura also said that a climb in Hong Kong stocks also supported the underside of the Nikkei average throughout the day.
Falling issues outnumbered rising ones 1,342 to 708 in the TSE’s first section, while 107 issues were unchanged.
Volume remained low at 1.14 billion shares, down from Wednesday’s 1.15 billion shares.
Semiconductor-related issues attracted buying on the back of a rise in the Sox Philadelphia semiconductor index Wednesday. Tokyo Electron climbed 4.86 percent, Shin-Etsu Chemical 2.38 percent and Advantest 2.79 percent.
Japan Display rose 5.80 percent in response to news reports that the ailing company will receive an investment from Tokyo-based Ichigo Asset Management Ltd.
Among other major winners were advertising firm Dentsu and realtor Mitsubishi Estate.
On the other hand, Idemitsu and other oil names lost ground following a fall in New York crude oil futures Wednesday.
Game-maker Konami and automaker Honda were sold as well.
In index futures trading on the Osaka Exchange, the key December contract on the Nikkei average rose 100 points to end at 23,470.
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