Tokyo stocks inched up Friday on the back of an overnight Wall Street rally.
The 225-issue Nikkei average of the Tokyo Stock Exchange closed up 42.32 points, or 0.18%, at 23,516.59, after shedding 165.19 points Thursday.
The Topix index of all TSE first section issues gained 5.53 points, or 0.34%, to end at 1,625.32, following a drop of 17.81 points the previous day.
The market got off to a firmer start after all three major U.S. equity gauges, including the Dow Jones Industrial Average, rose thanks to better-than-expected U.S. weekly jobless claims data and comments by U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi suggesting that talks on a fresh coronavirus relief package were progressing.
But it soon met with downward pressure as investors rushed to sell semiconductor and electronic parts names after U.S. chipmaker Intel Corp. posted weak sales at its data center business, brokers said.
After the Nikkei average dipped slightly below the previous day’s close in midmorning trading, market players bought back stocks to push the benchmark index back into positive territory, the brokers said.
The U.S. presidential debate between President Donald Trump and Democratic Party candidate Joe Biden, held Friday morning Japan time, did little to move market sentiment, according to the brokers.
“Compared with the last debate, it was sensible and without commotion,” Maki Sawada, vice president of Nomura Securities Co.’s Investment Research & Investor Services Department, said, suggesting that stocks are unlikely to fall as they did after the chaotic first debate.
“There was little that could change people’s voting intentions, so it did not alter Biden’s lead in the race,” Sawada also said.
Chihiro Ota, general manager for investment research and investor services at SMBC Nikko Securities Inc., said that a rise in U.S. interest rates reflecting increased market confidence in an election victory for Biden helped prop up insurance and some other names.
On the TSE’s first section, gainers slightly outnumbered decliners 1,096 to 989 with 95 issues unchanged. Volume grew to 967 million shares from Thursday’s 863 million shares.
Nexon Co. soared 17.24% after the game-maker was chosen as a new Nikkei average component to replace FamilyMart Co., which will be delisted next month after a successful tender offer by Itochu.
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries gained 6.56% after reports that it is considering effectively halting its project to develop Japan’s first homegrown small passenger jet, which had been viewed by investors as a costly operation.
Dai-ichi Life Holdings Inc. was among the insurance names buoyed by the higher U.S. interest rates.
On the other hand, Zozo Inc., Skylark Holdings Co. and some other stocks succumbed to selling after being supported by expectations that they may replace FamilyMart as a Nikkei average component.
Semiconductor test device maker Advantest Corp. and chipmaking gear manufacturer Tokyo Electron fell on the news of Intel’s weak sales.
In index futures trading on the Osaka Exchange, the key December contract on the Nikkei average inched down 10 points to end at 23,490.
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