Japanese shares track Wall St higher, cautious outlook caps gains


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TOKYO — Japanese shares rose on Friday, led by cyclical and technology stocks, as markets tracked a strong finish on Wall Street, although the gains were capped by a cautious outlook of U.S. equities and worries around the domestic economy’s recovery.

The Nikkei share average gained 0.73% to 29,084.95 by 0215 GMT, while the broader Topix rose 0.64% to 1,959.61

The Nasdaq and the S&P 500 closed at record highs overnight, while the Dow jumped almost 1% after U.S. President Joe Biden embraced a bipartisan Senate infrastructure deal.

“Today’s (Friday) market is tracking Wall Street’s strong gains. But investors, particularly in Japan, are getting wary of U.S. markets taking a pause anytime soon,” said Shoichi Arisawa, general manager of the investment research department at IwaiCosmo Securities.

“Prospects of an economic recovery in Japan is getting unclear as the number of new COVID-19 infections is on the rise again, and the pandemic could worsen as Japan is holding the Olympics.”

Cyclical shares rose, with oil and coal developers and steel makers leading the Tokyo Stock Exchange’s 33 sector sub-indexes.

Technology stocks also advanced, with Tokyo Electron rising 0.99%, Advantest jumping 2.0%, Fanuc gaining 0.46%.

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Panasonic jumped 4.61% as filing made by the maker of bicycles to hair dryers showed it sold all of its stake in Tesla last fiscal year.

Nikkei’s 29,000-mark has become a psychological barrier as Japan’s outlook of an economic recovery remains uncertain, market participants said.

Mazda Motor Corp, up 6.35%, gained the most on the Nikkei, followed by Panasonic and Fujikura which rose 3.91%.

Drug maker Eisai Co Ltd fell 4%, making it the biggest loser on the Nikkei, followed by shipping firms Mitsui OSK Lines and Nippon Yusen, losing 2.1% and 1.6%, respectively.

(Reporting by Junko Fujita; editing by Uttaresh.V)



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