Tokyo stocks managed to end higher Thursday while trading was lackluster amid a dearth of fresh incentives.
The benchmark 225-issue Nikkei average of the Tokyo Stock Exchange gained 49.27 points, or 0.18%, to close at 26,806.67. On Wednesday, the index rose 69.56 points.
The Topix index of all first section issues closed 5.75 points, or 0.32%, higher at 1,792.58, following a 4.78-point advance the previous day.
The market started almost flat as the U.S. Federal Reserve’s two-day Federal Open Market Committee meeting ended without major surprises Wednesday, brokers said.
The Nikkei soon lost about 80 points, but rose back to the sunny side shortly after that. It drifted in a narrow range for the rest of the morning session following the end of the Fed meeting, the biggest event this week, they added.
Although the market faced a lack of fresh news, the Nikkei moved in positive territory throughout the afternoon session, supported by a rise in U.S. Dow Jones Industrial Average futures in off-hours trading.
“The market was also aided by a sense of relief among investors following Fed Chairman Jerome Powell’s dovish comments after the FOMC meeting that the Fed will implement additional easing measures if needed,” Masahiro Ichikawa, chief market strategist at Sumitomo Mitsui DS Asset Management Co., said.
But Powell’s comments were not powerful enough to inspire active buying, he added.
On the other hand, the market was weighed down by the yen’s strength, brokers said.
At the FOMC meeting, the Fed skipped additional easing steps while vowing to keep its accommodative policy in place for an extended period of time to prop up the U.S. economy amid the resurgence of novel coronavirus infections.
Despite the stock price indexes’ higher closings, falling issues overwhelmed rising ones 1,253 to 849 on the TSE first section while 82 issues were unchanged. Volume increased slightly to 1.140 billion shares from Wednesday’s 1.110 billion shares.
Japan Post Insurance surged 10.05%, backed by news reports that the company is planning to buy back some of its own shares held by its parent, Japan Post Holdings.
Keyence jumped 5.30% after Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities Co. raised its target price for the factory automation equipment-maker.
Mitsubishi Materials climbed 4.05% thanks to the nonferrous metal producer’s upward revision to its earnings forecast for the year to next March.
Major losers included technology firm Fujifilm Holdings and Suzuki Motor.
In index futures trading on the Osaka Exchange, the key March contract on the Nikkei average rose 100 points to 26,770.
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