Japanese stocks pare early gains as Fast Retailing weighs
Japanese stocks surged at the open alongside an early slide in the value of the yen before paring gains as stocks that powered a recent rally slipped.
The Nikkei share average was up 0.09% at 28,967.94 at the end of the morning session, having opened up 0.53% to break through the 29,000 mark. The index closed down 0.96% the previous day.
The broader Topix index was up 0.27%.
The yen earlier tested a milestone of its own, with the greenback rising to 136.38 against the currency for the first time since July 28. It last traded at 136.08.
“While lots of stocks are making gains right now, some major contributors to the index that have led the recent rally like Fast Retailing are weak, so overall the movement is sluggish,” said a market participant at a domestic securities firm.
The Nikkei is up 1.2% so far this week.
Of its 225 constituents, 128 gained on Friday morning while 91 were down and six flat.
Fast Retailing, the operator of clothing brands including Uniqlo, fell 1.45% by the break, which had the biggest impact on the index due to its price-weighting.
Founder and Chief Executive Tadashi Yanai has been outspoken on the impact of a weak yen on his import-heavy business, saying there’s “absolutely no merit” to the currency’s depreciation.
Pharmaceuticals manufacturer Daiichi Sankyo Co Ltd fell 2.62%, the biggest loser among stocks.
The best performer was electrical components manufacturer Fujikura LTD, up 5.84%.
The energy sector was the biggest gainer, rising 1.23%, while healthcare slipped the most overall at 0.57%. (Reporting by Sam Byford and Tokyo markets team)