Business / Financial Markets | TSE DATA & REPORT

Nikkei takes modest upswing on back of Wall Street rally

JIJI

The benchmark Nikkei average staged a modest rebound amid a dearth of major buying incentives Monday, thanks to a continued Wall Street rally.

The 225-issue Nikkei average on the Tokyo Stock Exchange rose 4.48 points, or 0.02 percent, to end at 23,821.11, after falling for three consecutive sessions. Friday it gave up 48.22 points.

Meanwhile, the Topix index of all TSE first section issues finished down 3.65 points, or 0.21 percent, at 1,729.42, following a 3.04-point fall the previous trading day.

The market got off to a firmer start with investors taking heart from the yen’s weakening against the dollar and all three major U.S. market gauges’ extension of their record-breaking streaks Friday.

But the market soon bowed to profit-taking pressure without follow-through buying due to a lack of fresh positive news, brokers said.

With sentiment also soured by a drop in Shanghai stocks, the Nikkei tottered around its previous closing level while the Topix mired in negative territory for the rest of the session, they added.

Trading was thin as “there were few foreign participants due to Christmas holidays,” Tomoaki Fujii, head of the investment research division at Akatsuki Securities Inc., said.

Maki Sawada, vice president of Nomura Securities Co.’s Investment Research & Investor Services Department, pointed out that although the overall market was saggy the Nikkei was underpinned by the bullishness of some heavily weighted components such as drugmaker Daiichi Sankyo Co. and medical equipment producer Olympus Corp.

On the TSE’s first section, falling issues outnumbered rising ones 1,486 to 586 while 86 issues were unchanged. Volume dropped to 955 million shares from Friday’s 1.319 billion shares.

Daiichi Sankyo soared 2.84 percent on the drugmaker’s announcement of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s approval of a novel breast cancer treatment it developed with a U.S. partner.

Satudora Holdings Co. climbed 6.61 percent after the drugstore chain revised up its operating profit estimate for the business year through May 2020.

Other issues in the medical sector were also hunted, including Olympus, which went up 2.53 percent.

Among other major winners were job information provider Recruit Holdings Co. and cosmetics maker Shiseido Co.

On the other hand, Idemitsu Kosan Co. and other oil names lost ground following a fall in New York crude oil futures Friday.

Electronic device maker TDK Corp. and mobile phone carrier KDDI Corp. were sold as well.

In index futures trading on the Osaka Exchange, the key March contract on the Nikkei average rose 30 points to end at 23,750.

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