Japanese shares post 4th weekly gain on catch-up trade, chipmakers boost

TOKYO: Japanese shares closed higher on Friday to post their fourth straight weekly gain, as heavyweight chipmakers jumped, and some investors caught up on a recent rally.

Hopes from the new leadership, rising COVID-19 vaccinations and easing infections have powered a 8.58% jump in the Nikkei share average for the month so far. Despite a fall in the past two sessions, the index is still ending with a 0.39% weekly gain, marking an increase for fourth straight week.

The benchmark index rose 0.58% to close at 30,500.05, while the broader Topix gained 0.48% to 2,100.17.

“Shares rose because some investors wanted to boost weightings of Japanese stocks in their portfolio. And there’s demand from those who failed to buy Japanese stocks in a rally earlier this month,” said Jun Morita, general manager of the research department at Chibagin Asset Management.

Medical services platform provider M3 led the Nikkei’s gain with a 4.91% rise, followed by chip-related stocks Tokyo Electron and Advantest, which rose 1.24% and 2.44%, respectively.

Shipping firms were the top gainers among the Tokyo Stock Exchange‘s 33 industry subindexes, with Nippon Yusen jumping 2.88% and Kawasaki Kisen rising 4.24%.

Airlines and railways also advanced 1.67% and 1.16%, respectively.

On the flipside, Nippon Steel tumbled 5.96% after the steel maker priced its 300 billion yen ($2.73 billion) worth of convertible bonds. Its peers Kobe Steel and JFE Holdings lost 3.79% and 2.34%, respectively.

Game maker Nintendo gained the most among the top 30 core Topix names, followed by SoftBank Group, which rose 1.82%.

Hoya Corp, down 2.29%, was the worst performer among the Topix 30, followed by Mitsui & Co, losing 1.7%.

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