Tokyo stocks managed to rebound in lackluster trading Thursday amid the absence of market-moving events.
The 225-issue Nikkei average rose 21.70 points, or 0.07%, to close at 29,642.69, after losing 130.62 points Wednesday.
The Topix index of all first section issues finished 6.95 points, or 0.36%, higher at 1,959.13, in a turnaround from a 6.37-point drop the previous day.
Stocks got off to a mixed start after Wall Street failed to set a direction Wednesday.
Although the popularity of financials and some economically sensitive cyclicals pushed up the market in the morning, its upside was limited due to a lack of news to stimulate investor appetite.
Both the Nikkei and Topix indexes moved around the previous day’s closing levels in the afternoon, as participants retreated to the sidelines ahead of the release of U.S. retail sales data for March later on Thursday, brokers said.
Masahiro Ichikawa, chief market strategist at Sumitomo Mitsui DS Asset Management Co., pointed out that players “are coming to sit on the fences to wait for the beginning of the full-fledged earnings season in Japan” in late April.
Active buying was prevented by spikes in new coronavirus cases in the country, particularly in Osaka Prefecture, where the daily count hit a record 1,130 the previous day, an analyst at a bank-affiliated securities firm said.
On the TSE first section, decliners outnumbered gainers 1,259 to 845 while 87 issues were unchanged. Volume decreased to 941 million shares from Wednesday’s 1.036 billion shares.
Megabank groups including Sumitomo Mitsui Financial rose, after U.S. financial institutions’ earnings released Wednesday met market consensus estimates and eased concerns over the impact of Archegos Capital Management-linked huge losses.
Toshiba extended its winning streak to a fourth session, aided by a news report that Bain Capital of the United States is considering teaming up with British investment fund CVC Capital Partners to acquire the Japanese electronics giant.
Among other major winners were technology investor SoftBank Group and automaker Honda.
On the other hand, Muji apparel brand operator Ryohin Keikaku plunged 4.80% amid growing fears that the forced labor issue in China’s Xinjiang Uighur autonomous region would hurt earnings at the company, which disclosed Wednesday that it uses cotton produced in the region.
In index futures trading on the Osaka Exchange, the key June contract on the Nikkei average inched up 10 points to end at 29,620.
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