Japan’s Nikkei Ends Flat; Chip-Related Shares Gain on Strong Wall Street Cues (Update 1)

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
Tokyo Stock Exchange

TOKYO, Jan 25 (Reuters) – Japan’s Nikkei share average erased early losses to end flat on Thursday, supported by the advances in chip-related stocks tracking record gains overnight in Wall Street peers.

The Nikkei ended 0.03% higher to 36,236.47, after falling as much as 0.9% earlier in the session.

The broader Topix also changed course to close 0.11% higher at 2,531.92.

“Investors sold stocks earlier in the session as they thought the market overheated,” said Jun Morita, general manager of the research department at Chibagin Asset Management.

“And some investors bought stocks on dips. I think this pattern will continue for a while before the Nikkei rises to a new high.”

The Nikkei has risen more than 8% so far this month, hitting fresh 34-year highs several times, driven by the Bank of Japan’s ultra-loose monetary policy, Wall Street’s strong performance and a weaker yen.

Chip-related shares tracked the Philadelphia SE semiconductor index’s gain to a record high overnight.

Tokyo Electron rose 0.99% and Lasertec jumped 4.14%. Advantest gained 1.2%.

Nidec fell 3.15% to after the electric motor maker slashed its full-year operating profit forecast by nearly a fifth.

Staffing agency Recruit Holdings slipped 2.97%, weighing on the Nikkei the most and dragged the services sector 0.78% lower.

Of the 225 components of the Nikkei, 131 rose and 92 fell, with two flat.