Japan’s Nikkei Tracks Wall Street Higher, Chip Shares Shine

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
Tokyo Stock Exchange

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s Nikkei share average rose on Wednesday after Wall Street closed higher overnight, with Advantest and other chip-related stocks leading the gains.

The Nikkei climbed 0.44% to 32,987.69 by the midday break, while the broader Topix was up 0.02% at 2,353.55.

“The Japanese market was lifted by the momentum of Wall Street, with the Dow on course to mark a record high,” said Shigetoshi Kamada, general manager at the research department at Tachibana Securities.

“Investors wanted to buy more to boost the Nikkei but caution ahead of the Federal Reserve policy decision capped appetite.”

U.S. stocks closed at fresh highs of the year on Tuesday, after inflation data did little to alter views for the timing of a rate cut by the Fed, as investors awaited the central bank’s last policy decision of the year on Wednesday.

Fed officials are expected to give updated economic and interest rate projections later in the day, following a meeting where markets expect rates to stay on hold.

Chip-making equipment maker Advantest jumped 7.12%, while chip maker Renesas Electronics climbed 6.07%. Chip-testing making equipment maker Tokyo Electron rose 5.27%.

Ushio surged 9.51% after the maker of LED chips said it would team up with Applied Material to develop technology for the advanced semiconductor packaging market.

Computer maker Fujitsu fell 2.92% after state-backed Japan Investment Corp (JIC) said it would join Dai Nippon Printing and Mitsui Chemicals to buy out Shinko Electric Industries, Fujitsu’s chip-packaging unit. Shinko inched up 0.04%.

Of the 225 components on the benchmark Nikkei, 148 stocks fell, 73 rose and two were flat.