Japan’s Nikkei Reverses Course to End Higher as Chip Stocks Narrow Losses (Update 1)

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
Tokyo Stock Exchange

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s Nikkei share average changed course to end higher on Thursday, as heavyweight chip-related stocks narrowed early losses and energy shares gained.

The Nikkei closed 0.29% higher at 38,807.38, after three straight sessions of losses. The index fell as much as 0.76% earlier in the session.

The broader Topix rose 0.49% to 2,661.59.

“Japan’s major chip stocks mirrored the weak performance of U.S. chip stocks. It looks like the fever for Nvidia is over,” said Shigetoshi Kamada, general manager at the research department at Tachibana Securities.

“For the Nikkei to cross the 40,000 level again, Tokyo Electron and its peers need to get a boost.”

The S&P 500 and Nasdaq edged lower overnight as investors took profits in chipmaker stocks. The index of semiconductors lost 2.5%, with shares of Nvidia. which propelled a sharp rally in Japanese chip-related shares, slipping 1.1%.

The Nikkei crossed 40,000 for the first time earlier this month, driven by gains of chip-making equipment maker Tokyo Electron and chip-testing equipment maker Advantest.

On Thursday, Tokyo Electron and Advantest fell 0.45% and 2.35%, respectively.

Utility firms rose 4.12% to become the top performer among the 33 industry sub-indexes on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, with Tokyo Electric Power Holdings jumping 6.76%.

Energy explorers rose 4.09%, with Eneos Holdings gaining 5.32%.

Nissan Motor jumped 2.23% after a local television network TV Tokyo reported that the automaker is considering seeking a business partnership with Honda Motor, while the Nikkei business daily said they could collaborate on electric vehicles.

Honda rose 1.13%.

Uniqlo-owner Fast Retailing rose 1.62% to become the biggest support for the Nikkei.

Of the 225 components on the Nikkei, 174 stocks rose, while 51 fell.