Japanese shares end mixed after subdued session

Japanese shares end mixed after subdued session



Tokyo: Japanese share prices ended narrowly mixed on Thursday, 20 September, as investors took a breather after the previous day’s strong rally sparked by a hefty US interest rate cut, dealers said.

They said investors took profits after early gains sparked by another solid performance on Wall Street overnight on hopes that the US rate cut will buoy the US economy and stock market.

The Tokyo Stock Exchange’s benchmark Nikkei-225 index of leading shares closed up 32.25 points or 0.20 percent at 16,413.79.

The broader Topix index of all first-section shares dipped 0.74 points or 0.05 percent to 1,566.84.

Morning session

Tokyo: Japan’s Nikkei average ended the morning session flat on Thursday, 20 September, as Advantest Corp and other chip equipment makers were heavily sold on data showing weak orders, offsetting gains in commodity-related shares.

The Nikkei dipped into negative territory at one point after opening higher and rising 0.7% as investors locked in profits in the previous session’s rally.

“Investors started selling after seeing the Nikkei fail to rise beyond (the psychologically key level of) 16,500," said Takahiko Murai, general manager of equities at Nozomi Securities.

“At the same time, there was also buying on dips as the Fed’s bold rate cut alleviated wary sentiment."

Still, Murai said the Tokyo equity market is unlikely to get a lasting boost anytime soon, as commodities and forex markets were more attractive for overseas hedge funds for now.

“The markets are not led by demand for liquid crystal display TVs or DVD recorders but by demand for steel and other metals," he said.

“Within equities markets, energy and commodity shares are the movers, not high-tech or exporters."

Steelmaker JFE Holdings Inc gained 4.8% to 7,830 yen. Nonferrous metal smelter Sumitomo Metal Mining Co Ltd rose 3.5% to 2,645 yen and Mitsubishi Materials Corp climbed 3.5% to 708 yen.

Trading house Mitsui & Co rose 2.1% to 2,630 yen.

The benchmark Nikkei rose 13.7 points to 16,395.22. The broader TOPIX index fell 0.2% to 1,564.84.

Trade was moderate, with 903 million shares changing hands against an average of 882 million shares a day last week. Declining shares beat advancers by 876 to 714.