Nikkei ends higher on SoftBank boost; records 2% weekly drop

Nikkei ends higher on SoftBank boost; records 2% weekly drop

TOKYO: Japanese shares closed higher on Friday, with SoftBank leading the gains on the Nikkei index, as investors scooped up beaten-down names after their sharp retreat this week.

The Nikkei share average ended 1.56 per cent higher at 29,176.70, while the broader Topix advanced 1.46 per cent to close at 1,984.16.

For the week, the Nikkei shed 2 per cent and the Topix was down 1.4 per cent.

“This is a reaction from a sharp fall this week,” said Takashi Hiroki, chief strategist at Monex Securities.

“Investors have been selling stocks to rebalance their portfolios toward the end of the fiscal year ending March and that weighed on the indexes.”

Aiding sentiment, Wall Street closed higher overnight on renewed optimism for economic recovery after U.S. President Joe Biden pledged to double his administration’s vaccination rollout plan.

Nikkei heavyweight SoftBank Group rose 1.8 per cent, making it the biggest contributor to the index, followed by chip testing equipment maker Advantest, which jumped 4.65 per cent.

Uniqlo brand clothing store operator Fast Retailing , up 0.88 per cent, also lifted the Nikkei index.

Toyota Motor and Sony were the biggest contributors to the Topix, rising 2.48 per cent and 1.96 per cent, each.

All the 33 sector sub-indexes on the Tokyo exchange traded higher, with transport sector leading gains.

The largest percentage gainers on the index were IHI up 5.13 per cent, followed by Aeon’s 4.79 per cent gain.

Citizen Watch, down 1.76 per cent, was the biggest percentage loser on the index, followed by Showa Denko losing 1.71 per cent and Tokai Carbon falling 1.52 per cent.

There were 195 advancers on the Nikkei index against 25 decliners.

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