Tokyo: Japan’s Nikkei stock average edged up 0.1% on Wednesday as resource-related shares such as Inpex Holdings and trading houses jumped on record high oil prices.
The market rose sharply at the start of trade following a four-day weekend but briefly slipped back into negative territory in the afternoon as investors were quick to pocket their gains.
“The market is on a recovery path, with foreign investors coming back,” said Masayoshi Yano, senior market analyst at Meiwa Securities.
“But domestic players, both institutional and individual, are still in a wait-and-see mode,” he added.
As of 0439 GMT, the benchmark Nikkei average was up 10.17 points at 14,059.43, after climbing as high as 14,208.67. The broader TOPIX index gained 0.9% to 1,389.05.
Oil and gas field developer Inpex jumped 10.6% to 1.25 million yen, the biggest percentage gainer on the Nikkei, after the price of oil shot to a record above $122 a barrel on Tuesday.
Trading houses that have stakes in overseas oil fields also gained, with Mitsubishi Corp up 5.2% to 3,450 yen and Mitsui & Co Ltd up 5.4% to 2,520 yen.
Financials were mixed, with Japan’s largest bank Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group rising 2.2% to 1,156 yen while No. 3 Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group fell 0.4% to 907,000 yen.
Fast Retailing Co Ltd fell 2.5% to 9,210 yen, the biggest drag on the Nikkei, after the firm said on Friday that monthly sales at its Uniqlo casual-clothing stores in Japan fell 2.8% in April, hit by weak customer traffic due to a string of rainy days.
Japanese telecoms and Internet group Softbank Corp, which owns a 3.9% stake in Yahoo Inc, fell 1.2% to 2,105 yen after Microsoft Corp withdrew a $47.5 billion offer for Yahoo. Yahoo Japan, in which Softbank has a 41% stake, fell 3.1% to 45,800 yen.