Japan’s Nikkei Erases Early Losses as Heavyweight Stocks Gain

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
Tokyo Stock Exchange

TOKYO, Nov 29 (Reuters) – Japan’s Nikkei share average erased early losses to trade higher on Wednesday, underpinned by the gains in heavyweight stocks, while the yen’s rebound against the dollar capped further gains.

The Nikkei index was up 0.13% to 33,450.32 by the midday break after opening 0.49% lower.

“The Nikkei turned slightly positive because of the gains of heavyweight stocks. Investors bought those shares, which rallied last week, on dips,” said Shuutarou Yasuda, market analyst at Tokai Tokyo Research Institute.”But most shares were down, which meant that the market was not strong overall, the stronger yen weighed on investor sentiment.”

Uniqlo brand clothing shop owner Fast Retailing rose 0.58% and staffing agency Recruit Holdings jumped 2.56%. Chip-making equipment maker Tokyo Electron was up 0.69%.

Some 60% of shares on the Tokyo Stock Exchange’s prime market fell.

The dollar tumbled more than 0.5% to 146.675 yen JPY=EBS in early trade on Wednesday, its weakest level in more than two months.

The broader Topix had slipped 0.25% to 2,370.83, dragged by banking shares. The TSE’s banking index lost 2.32% to become the worst performer among the TSE’s 33 industry sub-indexes.

Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group fell 2.56% and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group lost 2.16%. Mizuho Financial Group slipped 2.91%.

Denso reversed course to rise 1.3% after losing 4.8% in the previous session after Reuters reported Toyota Motor and two affiliates planned to sell about 10% of the component maker by year-end.

“Denso stock price will be under pressure as its shares will be sold, but the shares turned positive today, which indicates strength in investor sentiment,” said Takehiko Masuzawa, trading head at Phillip Securities Japan.

Toyota shares rose 1.29%.