Nikkei follows solid Nasdaq finish overnight, Toyota drags Topix
TOKYO, June 18 (Reuters) – Japan’s Nikkei benchmark rose slightly on Friday as technology stocks followed a solid finish on the tech-rich Nasdaq index, while the broader Topix index fell after Toyota Motor has withdrawn from its record.
The Nikkei stock average rose 0.33% at 2:09 am GMT, while the larger Topix edged down 0.17% to 1,960.11.
The Nasdaq finished 13 points off its record earlier this week, but it was still the second-highest close in the index, adding 121.67 points, or 0.87%, to 14,161.35 .
“The market has been volatile all week and it will be difficult to decide how to allocate the money in the future as the direction of US rates remains uncertain,” said Soichiro Matsumoto, director of investments in Japan at Credit Suisse Private Banking.
Back home, Japan could host the Olympics with spectators despite opposition from medical experts, raising fears the Summer Games could trigger a further rise in COVID-19 infections.
The chairman of the Tokyo 2020 organizing committee wants to allow up to 10,000 spectators for the Olympic stadiums, local media reported.
“The Olympics make the outlook for the Japanese market unclear, which is why the market has failed to catch up with those in the United States and Europe,” Matsumoto said.
Eisai jumped 10.26% after the drugmaker and Bristol-Myers Squibb struck a deal worth up to $ 3.10 billion to jointly develop and market an investigational cancer drug.
Medical platform services company M3 jumped 2.88%, and medical equipment maker Terumo rose 2.81%.
Chip-related stocks advanced, with Tokyo Electron gaining 1.22% and Advantest increasing 2.18%.
Toyota Motor fell 2.92% after hitting its record this week.
Nidec Corp, up 4.5%, gained the most among the top 30 Topix names, followed by Hoya Corp.
Mitsui & Co Ltd, down 2.96%, was the worst performer of the Topix 30, followed by Toyota Motor. (Reporting by Junko Fujita; editing by Uttaresh.V)