Japan’s Nikkei Pares Gains to End Flat as Investors Book Profits

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
Tokyo Stock Exchange

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s Nikkei share average gave up gains to end flat on Monday as investors booked profits around the 33,000 level, while cosmetics maker Shiseido fell sharply after lowering its annual profit forecast.

The Nikkei index inched up 0.05% to close at 32,585.11, after rising as much as 1% earlier in the session, tracking Wall Street’s strong finish at the end of last week.

The broader Topix was flat at 2,336.62.

“The Nikkei rose sharply earlier in the session, which gave us optimism that a momentum was back. But, it pared gains as investors sold stocks to lock in profits as the index got closer to the 33,000 mark,” said Shuutarou Yasuda, a market analyst at Tokai Tokyo Research Institute.

“This meant investors were not fully ready to take risks on buying stocks yet. There are some uncertainties about the macro economy.”

Wall Street’s main indexes ended with big gains on Friday, boosted by heavyweight tech and growth stocks as Treasury yields calmed, while investors looked ahead to next week’s reports on inflation and other economic data.

In Japan, chip-related shares rose after the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite posted its biggest one-day percentage rise since May 26 on Friday.

Chip-making equipment maker Tokyo Electron rose 1.74% and chip-testing making equipment maker Advantest gained 1.53%.

Benesse Holdings surged 23.06% to a daily limit high after the education company said on Friday it would go private in a 208 billion yen ($1.37 billion) management buyout that will include Swedish investment fund EQT AB as a partner.

In contrast, Shiseido plunged 14.33% to become the biggest drag on the Nikkei after the cosmetics maker cut its annual profit forecast.

Uniqlo-brand owner Fast Retailing trimmed early gains to end 0.25% lower.