The benchmark Nikkei average managed to extend its winning streak to an eighth session Thursday, fending off growing profit-taking pressure.
The 225-issue Nikkei average of the Tokyo Stock Exchange rose 171.28 points, or 0.68%, to close at 25,520.88 in the longest bull-run since September last year. On Wednesday, the key index jumped 444.01 points.
Meanwhile, the Topix index of all TSE first section issues snapped its seven-session rising streak, falling 2.84 points, or 0.16%, to end at 1,726.23 after climbing 28.27 points the previous day.
Stocks were buoyant in the morning, with buying induced by the U.S. Nasdaq composite index’s powerful rebound Wednesday reflecting the popularity of technology stocks. The Nikkei gained nearly 240 points at one point.
In the afternoon, the market succumbed to stepped-up selling to lock in gains from the extended rally until Wednesday.
After plunging into negative terrain, however, the Nikkei returned to the sunny side thanks to moves to buy the dip. The leading price index was lifted by rises in heavily weighted component stocks, including clothing store chain Fast Retailing, technology investor SoftBank Group and industrial robot producer Fanuc, the brokers said.
Meanwhile, the broader Topix index pared losses but failed to close higher.
Kazuo Kamitani, Nomura Securities Co.’s senior associate at the Investment Research & Investor Services Department, said investors’ buying binge on coronavirus vaccine hopes “took a pause.”
“Rosy earnings prospects for Japanese companies underpinned the market,” he quickly added.
Other market participants said profit-taking gathered steam as concerns over another wave of the coronavirus pandemic in the Unites States grew further after New York Governor Andrew Cuomo ordered all gyms, restaurants and bars in the state to shut by 10 p.m.
U.S. Dow Jones Industrial Average futures’ drop in off-hours trading was also cited as a reason for the market’s sluggishness in the afternoon.
On the TSE first section, decliners outnumbered gainers 1,365 to 734 with 77 issues unchanged. Volume decreased to 1.348 billion shares from Wednesday’s 1.683 billion shares.
Chipmaking gear maker Tokyo Seimitsu surged 10.91%, after the firm announced a plan to buy back its own shares.
Water heater maker Noritz rose 1.76% thanks to its booking of operating profit for January-September.
Also bought were medical information provider M3 and game-maker Bandai Namco.
On the other hand, advertising giant Dentsu plunged 8.33% after logging operating loss for July-September.
Among other major losers were Mitsubishi Estate and insurer Tokio Marine.
In index futures trading on the Osaka Exchange, the key December contract on the Nikkei average fell 60 points to end at 25,360.