Tokyo stocks ended slightly higher Friday in thin trading that reflected an absence of major trading incentives.
The 225-issue Nikkei average gained 40.68 points, or 0.14%, to close at 29,683.37, after rising 21.70 points Thursday.
The Topix index of all first section issues finished 1.74 points, or 0.09%, higher at 1,960.87, following a 6.95-point advance the previous day.
The Tokyo market opened higher, reassured to see the U.S. Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 index close at record highs Thursday.
While the Nikkei average remained mostly on the positive side in the morning thanks to the popularity of some component stocks such as clothing store chain operator Fast Retailing, the Topix moved mainly under the previous day’s closing level, reflecting profit-taking.
In the afternoon, both indexes fluctuated mostly in positive territory amid a dearth of fresh trading incentives.
Many market players retreated to the sidelines ahead of the full-scale start for earnings releases by U.S. and Japanese companies later this month, brokers said.
“The market’s upside was limited due to the recent spikes in the number of coronavirus infection cases in Japan,” Maki Sawada, strategist at Nomura Securities Co., said.
To combat the resurgence, the government is planning to put four more prefectures under the coronavirus pre-emergency state from Tuesday.
On the other hand, the market was kept afloat by hopes for a U.S. economic recovery following rosy March data released over the past few weeks, including better-than-expected retail sales published Thursday, Sawada said.
On the TSE first section, decliners slightly outnumbered gainers 1,051 to 1,021, while 118 issues were unchanged. Volume hit a three-month low of 909 million shares, down from Thursday’s 941 million shares.
Daiwa House rose 3.06% after the company revised up its operating profit estimate for the year that ended in March.
Department store Takashimaya climbed 2.64% thanks to a sharp rise in its same-store sales in March.
Among other major winners were medical information provider M3 and chipmaking gear-maker Tokyo Electron.
Oriental Land, the operator of the Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea theme parks in Chiba Prefecture, fell for the seventh consecutive trading session, reflecting investors’ dismay over the planned addition of Chiba to the list of prefectures under the pre-emergency state.
Isuzu saw its first drop in four days, following news reports that subsidiary UD Trucks Corp. will halt operations at a plant in Saitama Prefecture for around 10 days due to the global shortage of semiconductors.
In index futures trading on the Osaka Exchange, the key June contract on the Nikkei average advanced 110 points to end at 29,730.
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