Japan’s Nikkei ends higher as Fast Retailing gains


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TOKYO — Japan’s Nikkei index closed slightly higher on Monday, led by Uniqlo brand owner Fast Retailing and heavyweight technology stocks.

The Nikkei share average edged up 0.15% to close at 27,820.40, while the broader Topix was down 0.31% to 1,947.90.

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“Today’s market showed little direction as U.S. jobs data did not become a market-moving catalyst. But investors had a fresh view on heavyweight technology stocks, which underpinned the Nikkei,” said Shoichi Arisawa, general manager of the investment research department at IwaiCosmo Securities.

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The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite ended slightly lower, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average edged higher on Friday, as the November payrolls report fueled expectations the Federal Reserve would maintain its path of interest rate hikes to combat inflation.

Fast Retailing jumped 3.11% and gave the biggest boost to the Nikkei after the clothing store operator last week said average purchases per customer rose 6.5% in November.

Robot maker Fanuc rose 2.73% and was the biggest support to the Topix.

Cosmetic maker Shiseido rose 2.83% as China unwinds COVID-19 restrictions, raising hopes for more cosmetic purchases.

The insurance and banking sectors lost 0.9% and 0.68%, respectively, amid declines in U.S. Treasury yields.

Insurer T&D Holdings declined 3.16% and became the worst performer on the Nikkei, while banking group Resona Holdings slipped 2.73%.

Toyota Motor fell 1.01% and was the biggest drag on the Topix. Nissan Motor lost 2.72% and Mitsubishi Motors fell 2.55%.

The auto sector dropped 1.12%. (Reporting by Junko Fujita; editing by Uttaresh.V)


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