Thursday, December 1

Japanese shares end higher; caution ahead of Fed minutes limit gains

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TOKYO — Japanese shares ended higher on Tuesday, as the yen’s weakness against the US dollar raised prospects of a better outlook for domestic manufacturers, although caution ahead of the release of the Federal Reserve’s minutes of policy meeting limited gains.

The Nikkei share average rose 0.61% to close at 28,115. 74, while the broader Topix climbed 1.12% 1,994.75.

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“There were no specific market-moving cues but investors liked the yen’s weakness. Investors probably bought back stocks to cover their short positions ahead of a market holiday tomorrow as the yen may weaken further after comments from the Federal Reserve,” said Yutaka Miura senior technical analyst at Mizuho Securities.

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“But US equities could fall if the markets find any hawkish remarks from Fed officials, which may trigger a sell-off in Japanese futures on Friday.”

Japanese markets will be closed on Wednesday for a local holiday, while the US markets will be closed for the Thanksgiving holiday on Thursday.

The Fed’s latest meeting’s minutes is due in this holiday-shortened week.

The dollar advanced against most major currencies overnight, recouping recent losses, as traders shunned riskier currencies over concerns about the global economic outlook from the COVID-19 curbs in China.

In Japan, Shionogi & Co jumped 2.77% after the Yomiuri newspaper reported that the country’s regulatory agency had compiled a report confirming the possible efficacy of the drugmaker’s COVID-19 drug.

All the 33 industry sub-indexes on the Tokyo Stock Exchange rose, with the utility sector, leading gains with a 2.24% jump. Insurers rose 2.07%.

Heavyweight chip-related Advantest fell 1.43%, while Tokyo Electron pared early losses to end 0.09% higher.

(Reporting by Junko Fujita; editing by Uttaresh.V and Rashmi Aich)

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