Nikkei Rises on Wall Street Strength, US Jobs Data in Focus (Update 1)
12:51 JST, February 2, 2024 (updated at 16:10 JST)
TOKYO, Feb 2 (Reuters) – Japan’s Nikkei share average advanced on Friday as chip-related stocks tracked overnight gains in Wall Street, although the rise was limited as investors awaited U.S. jobs data for clues on the Federal Reserve’s interest rate trajectory.
The Nikkei pared gains to rise 0.41% to 36,158.02. It rose as much as 1.1% earlier in the session and was up 1.14% for the week.
“The Nikkei rose as chip-related stocks tracked the gains of Wall Street companies such as Meta and Amazon,” said Masahiro Ichikawa, chief market strategist at Sumitomo Mitsui DS Asset Management “However, the index later trimmed its gains as investors booked profits ahead of the U.S. jobs figures.”
The closely-watched nonfarm payrolls report is due later in the day.
The broader Topix gained 0.22% to 2,539.68 and posted a 1.68% weekly rise.
All three major U.S. stock indexes rose sharply overnight with the tech-heavy Nasdaq advancing the most, as investors looked to a spate of high-profile earnings.
Shigetoshi Kamada, general manager of the research department at Tachibana Securities, said the domestic market was also supported by expectations of better shareholder returns.
Nippon Television Holdings surged 22% after the broadcasting company said it would pay dividends to foreign shareholders who were not listed in the shareholder registry.
Peers TV Asahi Holdings and TBS Holdings surged 17.57% and 16.71%, respectively.
Aozora Bank tumbled for a second straight session, falling 15.92% to hit a three-year low. The Tokyo-based lender this week flagged its first annual net loss in 15 years as it took massive loan-loss provisions for U.S. commercial property.
Konica Minolta jumped 9.75% to become the biggest percentage gainer on the Nikkei after the maker of office equipment narrowed its net loss for the nine months through December.
Chip-making equipment maker Tokyo Electron rose 1.66% to give the biggest boost to the Nikkei. Chip-testing making equipment maker Advantest climbed 3.26%.
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