Tokyo stocks bounce back in thin trading

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
Tokyo Stock Exchange

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — Tokyo stocks turned higher in quiet trading Monday, mainly aided by buying following a market tumble last week.

The Nikkei average of 225 selected issues listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange’s Prime section gained 170.62 points, or 0.65%, to finish at 26,405.87, after losing 272.62 points Friday.

The broader TOPIX index ended 4.58 points, or 0.24%, higher at 1,902.52, following a 10.23-point retreat the previous trading day.

Stocks got off to a firmer start after all three key U.S. stock price gauges rebounded Friday.

Although buying soon lost steam amid a lack of fresh news, the market headed north again thanks in part to rising Chinese equities, brokers said.

“Today’s advance is mainly attributable to the buying of stocks whose prices fell to reasonable levels last week,” said Kazuo Kamitani, strategist at Nomura Securities Co.

On the other hand, financial shares’ negative turns weighed on the market, he noted.

Chihiro Ota, general manager for investment research and investor services at SMBC Nikko Securities Inc., pointed out that trading was thin with most global investors still away on the Christmas holiday.

“Main players were Japanese individual investors,” Ota added.

Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda’s speech in the afternoon failed to sway the market, according to Kamitani.

On the Prime section, gainers outnumbered decliners 1,056 to 691 while 91 issues were unchanged. Volume shrank to 820 million shares from Friday’s 1,163 million shares.

Itoki jumped 4.70% after the office furniture maker revised up its earnings estimates for the business year ending this month.

Higher crude oil prices lifted oil wholesaler Idemitsu by 2.81% and resources developer Inpex by 2.53%.

Bargain-hunting pushed up semiconductor production equipment maker Tokyo Electron by 2.22%, clothing retailer Fast Retailing by 2.00 pct and air conditioner maker Daikin by 1.39%.

Shionogi gained 1.82% after the drugmaker said Friday its COVID-19 oral treatment will be launched in China.

By contrast, power suppliers were hit by profit-taking, with TEPCO plunging 4.28%.

Among bleak financials, megabank group Sumitomo Mitsui lost 2.21% and insurer MS&AD 1.89%.

Other major losers included optical equipment manufacturer Hoya and seasoning maker Ajinomoto.

In index futures trading on the Osaka Exchange, the key March contract on the Nikkei average rose 220 points to 26,370.