Tokyo Stocks Stage Modest Rebound in Lackluster Trading

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
Tokyo Stock Exchange

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — Tokyo stocks turned moderately higher in sluggish trading Friday ahead of a closely watched U.S. employment report.

The Nikkei average of 225 selected issues listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange’s Prime Section rose 45.68 points, or 0.17%, to finish at 27,518.31 after dropping more than 800 points over the past two days.

The broader TOPIX index ended 4.16 points, or 0.21%, higher at 1,965.44, following its two-day sell-off.

The market got off to a firmer start with sentiment brightened by all three major U.S. price gauges going up Thursday.

Recently battered stocks such as chip-related ones were scooped up, brokers said.

But active buying quickly subsided as the U.S. Labor Department’s employment report for March loomed amid growing concerns over the course of the U.S. economy.

“Investors opted to closely study the report before making any actions,” said Ryuta Otsuka, strategist at the investment information department of Toyo Securities Co.

On top of wariness over the U.S. job market statistics, due out later Friday, “the absence of European and U.S. players due to the extended Easter break starting with Good Friday made trading very slow,” Chihiro Ota, general manager for investment research and investor services at SMBC Nikko Securities Inc., pointed out.

Position-squaring selling also weighed on stocks in the afternoon, brokers said.

On the Prime section, gainers outnumbered decliners 1,146 to 595 while 94 issues were unchanged. Volume plunged to 820 million shares from Thursday’s 1.15 billion shares.

TKP climbed 2.90% after SMBC Nikko Securities Inc. raised its target price for the meeting room rental firm.

Photomask maker Hoya Corp. added 2.24% and chipmaking gear producer Tokyo Electron 2.22% thanks to investors’ appetite for semiconductor-related stocks.

Other major winners included Tokyo Disney Resort operator Oriental Land, which gained 2.22%.

Meanwhile, retail giant Seven & i sank 4.02% after issuing a profit warning for the year through next February.