Japan’s Nikkei ends higher on Wall Street’s advance

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Japan’s benchmark Nikkei stock index closed higher Monday on the back of Wall Street’s gains late last week, with high-technology issues finding favor, although trade was thin amid year-end holidays.

The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average gained 170.62 points, or 0.65 percent, from Friday to close the day at 26,405.87.

The broader Topix index, meanwhile, added 4.58 points, or 0.24 percent, to finish at 1,902.52.

Dealers here said investors took their cues from US stocks closing higher in the previous session, with Nikkei bellwethers including tech issues leading gains.

“Japanese shares rose because US equities gained at the end of last week, but the trading is very quiet with most participants in the US and Europe away for holidays,” Shuji Hosoi, senior strategist at Daiwa Securities, was quoted as saying.

Among these, Uniqlo clothing chain store operator Fast Retailing climbed 2 percent, chip-making equipment maker Tokyo Electron added 2.2 percent, and air-conditioner manufacturer Daikin gained 1.4 percent.

Oil-linked issues found favor, with refiner Idemitsu Kosan jumping 2.8 percent, while exploration giant Inpex rose 2.5 percent by the close.

Banking and insurance issues lost ground, however, as investors sold for profits, with Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group dropping 2.2 percent, while Resona Holdings fell 2.7 percent.

MS&AD Insurance Group Holdings, meanwhile, ended the day 1.9 percent lower.

Mining, iron and steel, and nonferrous metal shares comprised those that gained the most, with rising issues outpacing declining ones by 1,056 to 691, while 91 ended the day unchanged.

On the Prime Market on Monday, 820.50 million shares changed hands, dropping from Friday’s volume of 1,163.44 million shares.

The turnover on the first trading day of the week came to 1,779.32bn yen ($13.38bn).

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