Nikkei ekes out modest gain on weaker yen

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
Tokyo Stock Exchange

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — The benchmark Nikkei stock average rebounded moderately Thursday, backed by higher U.S. equities and the yen’s weakening.

The Nikkei average of 225 selected issues listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange’s Prime section gained 103.94 points, or 0.40%, to finish at 25,820.80, after dropping 377.64 points Wednesday.

The broader TOPIX index inched up 0.75 points, or 0.04%, to end at 1,868.90, following a 23.56-point decline the previous day.

Sentiment in the Tokyo market improved after key U.S. stock indexes finished higher overnight, market sources said.

The market’s rally, however, was limited due to profit-taking selling, with the TOPIX index temporarily falling into negative terrain.

“Trading was sparse amid a dearth of fresh market-moving factors and a wait-and-see mood ahead of the release on Thursday of U.S. Automatic Data Processing Inc.’s employment data for December,” said Masahiro Ichikawa, chief market strategist at Sumitomo Mitsui DS Asset Management Co.

Maki Sawada, strategist at Nomura Securities Co., said that the Tokyo market’s rally was capped by concerns that U.S. monetary tightening may be prolonged.