Tokyo stocks up slightly in morning after US tech share rise

TOKYO (Kyodo) — Tokyo stocks rose slightly Monday morning, with gains in U.S. technology shares late last week spurring buying of their Japanese counterparts amid slow trading.

The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average rose 122.34 points, or 0.37 percent, from Friday to 33,291.39. The broader Topix index was up 4.54 points, or 0.19 percent, at 2,340.97.

On the top-tier Prime Market, gainers were led by rubber product, pharmaceutical and precision instrument issues.

The U.S. dollar slightly weakened to the lower 142 yen range in Tokyo amid expectations the U.S. Federal Reserve will move to cut interest rates next year, while many participants retreated to the sidelines due to the holiday season overseas.

At noon, the U.S. dollar fetched 142.24-25 yen compared with 142.41-51 yen in New York and 142.23-25 yen in Tokyo at 5 p.m. Friday.

The euro was quoted at $1.1003-1007 and 156.51-57 yen against $1.1008-1018 and 156.83-93 yen in New York and $1.1000-1002 and 156.46-50 yen in Tokyo late Friday afternoon.

On the stock market, participants bought technology-related and other issues after gains on the U.S. Nasdaq index Friday, supported by hopes of lower borrowing costs in the coming year in the world’s largest economy, analysts said.

But gains were limited, with many foreign investors sitting out as overseas markets including in the United States and Europe are closed Monday due to the Christmas holidays.

Despite slowing trading toward the year-end and New Year holidays in Japan, the market is likely to be underpinned by hopes for robust corporate earnings following a strong mid-term performance, analysts said.

“The Japanese market is likely to continue firmly into the end of the year, supported by expectations that companies will maintain positive results,” said Maki Sawada, a strategist in the Investment Content Department of Nomura Securities Co.

Among technology shares, Sony Group rose 195 yen, or 1.5 percent, to 13,180 yen, and Renesas Electronics advanced 44.5 yen, or 1.8 percent, to 2,558.5 yen.

Major department store operators drew buying on hopes for favorable quarterly earnings announcements this week, after recent government data showed the number of overseas tourists has returned to pre-pandemic levels.

Takashimaya climbed 38.5, yen or 2.0 percent, to 1,986.0 yen, while J. Front Retailing, which operates Daimaru and Matsuzakaya department stores, climbed 29.5 yen, or 2.2 percent, to 1,342.5 yen.

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