Tokyo stocks rebound slightly on buybacks

19 May


Stocks bounced back slightly on the Tokyo Stock Exchange Friday thanks to buybacks after the previous day’s plunge.

The 225-issue Nikkei average advanced 36.90 points, or 0.19 percent, to finish at 19,590.76. On Thursday, the key market gauge tumbled 261.02 points.

The Topix index of all first-section issues ended up 4.72 points, or 0.30 percent, at 1,559.73, after losing 20.81 points the previous day.

Stocks got off to a firmer start, following an overnight rebound in U.S. equities. The dollar’s upturn above ¥111 also helped lift the Tokyo market, brokers said.

After the initial buying ran its course, however, the Nikkei average sank into negative territory in line with a pause in the dollar’s strengthening.

Stocks wiped out the losses in the afternoon but the market lacked vigor as active purchases were held in check amid lingering concerns over political confusion surrounding U.S. President Donald Trump, according to brokers.

U.S. stocks’ rebound on Thursday was inspired by brisk economic data after the previous day’s market plunge on reported Trump allegations linked to Russia.

“The market has priced in the Trump allegations to some extent, but it cannot be said that it has done so completely,” said Hiroaki Hiwada, a strategist at Toyo Securities Co.

As any new allegations on the U.S. president could trigger selling again, the Trump worries are likely to weigh on financial markets for the time being, Hiwada added.

A wait-and-see mood is likely to strengthen ahead of planned testimony by former Federal Bureau of Investigation Director James Comey at a public hearing in the U.S. Congress next week on Trump’s suspected attempts to interfere with FBI probes, an official of another securities firm said.

Rising issues outnumbered falling ones 1,090 to 804 in the TSE’s first section, while 121 issues were unchanged.

Volume decreased to 1.908 billion shares from Thursday’s 2.184 billion shares.

Financial issues, including maga-bank groups Mitsubishi UFJ, Mizuho and Mitsui Sumitomo, brokerage firm Nomura and insurer Dai-ichi Life gained ground thanks to buying on dips.

Oil companies JXTG Holdings, Showa Shell, Cosmo Energy Holdings and Inpex were buoyant, reflecting higher crude oil prices.

Auto parts maker Takata went limit-up after four automakers said Thursday that they have reached a settlement in a U.S. class action lawsuit over the recall of defective Takata air bags.

Other major winners included automaker Toyota, mobile phone carrier SoftBank Group, semiconductor-related Tokyo Electron and machinery-maker Komatsu.

By contrast, Recruit Holdings, Osaka Gas, Kansai Electric Power and game-maker Nintendo met with selling.

In index futures trading on the Osaka Exchange, the key June contract on the Nikkei average rose 30 points to close at 19,600.

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