Tokyo stocks staged a modest rebound Thursday, buoyed by buying of semiconductor-linked shares.
The 225-issue Nikkei average of the Tokyo Stock Exchange gained 53.80 points, or 0.19%, to finish at 28,098.25, after surrendering 362.39 points Wednesday.
The Topix index of all TSE first section issues inched up 0.68 point, or 0.04%, to end at 1,895.92, following a 12.50-point fall the previous day.
Stocks got off to a dismal start, with sentiment chilled by Wall Street’s extension of its losing streak to a third day Wednesday amid rekindled concerns over the possibility of the U.S. Federal Reserve tapering quantitative easing early.
After the initial plunge, the market took an upturn thanks chiefly to buybacks of chip-sector shares stemming from a jump in the U.S. SOX Philadelphia semiconductor index the previous day.
But weighed on by drops in other Asian markets, both the Nikkei and Topix indexes hovered around Wednesday’s closing levels until early afternoon, brokers said, adding that buying took the upper hand later on the back of a rise in U.S. stock futures in off-hours trading.
Trading was led by Individual investors, while foreign institutional players remained low-key amid a dearth of market-moving events, an official at a major Japanese brokerage house said.
“The Tokyo market’s topside was capped by U.S. inflation worries, which have yet to be priced in,” said Masahiro Ichikawa, chief market strategist at Sumitomo Mitsui DS Asset Management Co.
On the TSE first section, gainers outnumbered decliners 1,385 to 703 while 104 issues were unchanged. Volume fell to 994 million shares from Wednesday’s 1.164 billion shares.
Leading winners in the semiconductor sector included passive component maker Taiyo Yuden, up 4.90%, and test device manufacturer Advantest, up 3.50%.
Toray, which supplies parts to Boeing Co., shot up 3.51% after the U.S. aircraft giant resumed Boeing 737 MAX deliveries.
Automakers Mazda and Yamaha Motor also attracted hefty buying.
Tokio Marine tumbled 5.22% due to the nonlife insurer’s failure to beat market profit estimates for the year ending next March.
Steelmakers, such as JFE and Nippon Steel, dived as did U.S. peers the previous day.
In index futures trading on the Osaka Exchange, the key June contract on the Nikkei average rose 120 points to end at 28,090.
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