Roundup: Japan’s Nikkei ends higher as robot makers shine

TOKYO, Jan. 11– Japan’s benchmark Nikkei stock index closed higher for a fourth straight session on Wednesday, as robotics-linked issues rallied amid eased concerns over aggressive U.S. rate hikes. Yaskawa Electric climbed 6.3 percent to become the Nikkei’s top gainer, while peer Fanuc Inc. jumped 4.6 percent. Nikkei heavyweight Fast Retailing, the operator of…

TOKYO, Jan. 11 (Xinhua) — Japan’s benchmark Nikkei stock index closed higher for a fourth straight session on Wednesday, as robotics-linked issues rallied amid eased concerns over aggressive U.S. rate hikes.

The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average added 270.44 points, or 1.03 percent, from Tuesday to close the day at 26,446.00.

The broader Topix index, meanwhile, gained 20.37 points, or 1.08 percent, to finish at 1,901.25.

Local brokers said the market inherited an upbeat tone from Wall Street’s overnight gains, with a speech made by Fed Chairman Jerome Powell containing nothing to spook markets regarding the future course of the central bank’s monetary policy.

“Investors bought shares, pricing in the end of the Fed’s rate hikes or potential rate cuts this year. But they locked in profits in the afternoon, as they were not too sure about the direction of the inflation,” Norihiro Fujito, chief investment strategist at Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities Co., was quoted as saying.

Dealers here also noted that industrial robot maker Yaskawa Electric announcing solid earnings and an improving supply chain situation the previous day lifted technology issues.

Yaskawa Electric climbed 6.3 percent to become the Nikkei’s top gainer, while peer Fanuc Inc. jumped 4.6 percent.

Among other technology-oriented shares, chip-making equipment Tokyo Electron advanced 1.3 percent, while Sony Group closed 3.5 percent higher.

Nikkei heavyweight Fast Retailing, the operator of the Uniqlo chain of clothing stores, helped buoy the broader market, rising 1.4 percent, after announcing it will raise salaries for local employees by up to 40 percent annually.

Department store issues weighed, however, with Isetan Mitsukoshi Holdings slipping 3.0 percent.

By the close of play, precision instrument, electric appliance, and iron and steel shares comprised those that gained the most, and rising issues beat falling ones by 1,493 to 287, while 58 ended the day unchanged.

On the Prime Market on Wednesday, 1,058.87 million shares changed hands, dropping from Tuesday’s volume of 1,111.14 million shares.

The turnover on Wednesday came to 2,589.40 billion yen (19.53 billion U.S. dollars). Enditem

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