Nikkei ekes out gains, within whisker of erasing pandemic loss

Nikkei ekes out gains, within whisker of erasing pandemic loss

Reuters  | Aug 14, 2020 11:30

Nikkei ekes out gains, within whisker of erasing pandemic loss

By Hideyuki Sano
TOKYO, Aug 14 (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei share average eked
out gains on Friday, but stopped short of a final step towards a
complete recovery from its decline triggered by the coronavirus
crisis.
The Nikkei .N225 rose 0.11% to 23,275.27, briefly hitting
a six-month high for two straight sessions but stopped short of
closing a major chart gap between 23,378 and 22,950 made in
February, when signs of global spread of the COVID-19 shocked
investors.
Given risk factors such as uncertainties over U.S. stimulus
and intensifying China-U.S. tensions, investors regarded
profit-taking more prudent than chasing the rally further.
The broader Topix .TOPX rose 0.16% to 1,626.76, having
risen 8.7% just in the first two weeks of August, supported by
hopes of gradual recovery in the global economy and rapid
development of COVID-19 vaccines.
"The market has been strong even for a bull like me. It has
been driven by short-covering by foreign investors," said
Seiichi Suzuki, chief equity market analyst at Tokai Tokyo
Research Institute.
The biggest gainer among the top 100 firms .TOPX100 was
Fujifilm Holdings 4901.T , which rose 2.8% after the company
said it expects data from a clinical trial of its Avigan drug on
COVID-19 patients to be ready in about a month. Dentsu 4324.T gained 3.4% after the advertising firm
managed to eke out small gains, despite analyst forecasts of a
quarterly net loss. Oisix Ra Daichi 3182.T , one of the stay-at-home stock
winners, advanced 12.3% to a record high after local media
reported that the food delivery service operator will tie up
with restaurant chain Ootoya Holdings 2705.T . On the other hand, rise in bond yields this week also
prompted investors to take profit from interest rate-sensitive
shares, including Softbank 9984.T , and real estate firms
.IRLTY.T .
Softbank fell 2.3%, while realtor Mitsui Fudosan 8801.T
and Mitsubishi Estate 8802.T dropped 2.3% and 1.7%,
respectively.

(Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)

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