• Reuters

Japan’s Nikkei Follows Wall Street Higher, US Inflation Data in Focus

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
Tokyo Stock Exchange

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s Nikkei share average rose for a second straight session on Tuesday after Wall Street closed at fresh highs for the year, while investors awaited key U.S. inflation data and the Federal Reserve’s policy decision for further direction.

The Nikkei index had climbed 0.58% to 32,983.37 by the midday recess, with 141 of the benchmark’s 225 components rising versus 83 decliners. The index fell 3.4% last week in its worst performance since mid-September.

The broader Topix was up 0.28%.

U.S. stocks had a “strong performance” on Monday, particularly among semiconductor-related shares, said Kenji Abe, an analyst at Daiwa Securities, adding that this carried over to Japanese stocks on Tuesday.

Japan-based semiconductor manufacturer Renesas Electronics was the Nikkei’s biggest winner, extending Monday’s gains to jump 5.82%, followed by Screen Holdings, which rose 3.69%.

Banking shares, meanwhile, edged down as expectations of an imminent move by the Bank of Japan (BOJ) to exit its negative interest rate policy faded.

Speculation that the BOJ may move to exit from its negative interest rate policy next week had boosted the yen and financial shares.

A Bloomberg report on Monday said BOJ officials see little need to rush into scrapping negative interest rates this month as they have not seen enough evidence of wage growth to justify sustainable inflation, citing sources.

Resona Holdings led the pack of bottom movers, dropping 2.99%.

The banking sector as a whole was last down 0.99%.