Under profit-taking pressure, Tokyo stocks rise for fourth day


Resisting selling to lock in profits, Tokyo stocks on Friday managed to extend their gains for the fourth consecutive session.

The 225-issue Nikkei average rose 61.55 points, or 0.26 percent, to end at 23,391.87. On Thursday, the key market gauge added 26.50 points.

The Topix index of all issues listed on the first section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange finished up 4.64 points, or 0.27 percent, at 1,702.77, after advancing 3.68 points the previous day.

The Tokyo market enjoyed a strong start, thanks to the yen’s weakening against the dollar and a Wall Street rally prompted by the Chinese Commerce Ministry’s announcement that the United States and China agreed to roll back their tariffs in stages, brokers said. The Nikkei jumped over 260 points in the first 30 minutes.

But profit-taking pressure started building up thereafter, forcing the benchmark average to dip into negative territory at one point in the morning.

Both the Nikkei and Topix indexes hovered slightly above their Thursday’s closing levels in the afternoon, as investors refrained from active trading amid the absence of fresh incentives.

Brokers also noted that the afternoon market was weighed on by White House trade adviser Peter Navarro’s denial of the tariff agreement in a media interview later on Thursday, which raised doubts about U.S. President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, signing the so-called Phase 1 trade deal.

The Chinese ministry’s announcement “came as a positive surprise” to investors, who had not expected any news on the tariffs at all, Tomoaki Fujii, head of the investment research division at Akatsuki Securities Inc., said.

He also pointed out that Navarro’s comment that “there is no agreement at this time to remove the existing tariffs” failed to turn players significantly bearish because it was not taken to mean that Trump and Xi will not sign the partial trade deal.

Hirofumi Yamamoto, strategist at Toyo Securities Co., observed that the market was underpinned by foreign investors’ buybacks.

On the TSE’s first section, rising issues marginally outnumbered falling ones 1,028 to 1,022 while 103 issues were unchanged. Volume rose to 1.62 billion shares from Thursday’s 1.26 billion.

Mega-bank group Sumitomo Mitsui Financial and other financial issues attracted buying, thanks to a rise in U.S. long-term interest rates and gains in their U.S. peers Thursday.

Export-oriented issues such as automaker Toyota and technology firm Hitachi rose on the back of the yen’s drop.

Medical equipment manufacturer Terumo surged 13.44 percent as its April-September operating profit surpassed market expectations.

Among other major winners were technology investor SoftBank Group and department store operator Isetan Mitsukoshi Holdings.

On the other hand, cosmetics maker Shiseido dived 8.34 percent, due to its operating profit for January-September failing to beat a market consensus.

Also on the negative side were game maker Square Enix and retailer FamilyMart Uny.

In index futures trading on the Osaka Exchange, the key December contract on the Nikkei average advanced 20 points to end at 23,380.



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