TOKYO, June 9 (Xinhua) — Japan’s benchmark Nikkei stock index closed slightly higher Thursday in choppy trade as exporters gained on the yen’s weakness, but chip-making equipment issues weighed and profit-taking capped gains.
The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average ended up 12.24 points, or 0.04 percent, from Wednesday at 28,246.53, rising for the fifth straight session.
The broader Topix index, meanwhile, finished 0.93 point, or 0.05 percent, lower at 1,969.05.
Local dealers said that with the U.S. dollar jumping to the mid-134 yen level in the morning, marking its highest climb since February 2022, propelled by a rise overnight in U.S. Treasury yields, investors sought out exporter issues.
Export-oriented issues tend to find favor when the yen is weak versus its major counterparts, as the firms’ price competitiveness is enhanced in overseas markets and profits can be boosted when repatriated on favorable exchange rates.
But as exporters gained traction, some profit-taking was evident which essentially knocked off the market’s gains and following an overnight drop on the Philadelphia SE Semiconductor Index, chip-related issues weighed, brokers said.
“However, the market’s upside was limited as investors took in profits as the market had recently been advancing at a rapid pace following the Nikkei’s four-day rally,” Masahiro Yamaguchi, head of investment research at SMBC Trust Bank, was quoted as saying.
By the close of play, mining and transportation equipment issues comprised those that gained the most, and issues that fell outpaced those that rose by 966 to 786 on the Prime Market, while 86 ended the day unchanged.
Among exporter issues advancing on the yen’s weaker tone, Mazda Motor gained 1.3 percent, while Nissan Motor rose 1.9 percent. Honda Motor, for its part, ended up 0.6 percent by the close.
Chip-making equipment manufacturers losing ground included Tokyo Electron dropping 2.2 percent, while Advantest relinquished 2.5 percent by the close.
Sharp was a notable loser Thursday, slumping 5.7 percent, after the consumer electronics maker announced the previous day that its net profit for fiscal 2022 would fall below market expectations.
On the Prime Market on Thursday, 1,287.27 million shares changed hands, dropping from Wednesday’s volume of 1,300.38 million shares.
The turnover on the penultimate trading day of the week came to 3,213.98 billion yen (24.06 billion U.S. dollars).