Wednesday, May 18

Japanese shares track US futures higher, tech stocks shine

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TOKYO — Japanese shares rose for a third straight session on Thursday, driven by technology heavyweights, as US futures advanced and after longer dated US treasury yields tumbled overnight.

The Nikkei share average rose 1.21% to 27,547.24 by the midday break, while the broader Topix gained 0.61% to 1,926.90.

A market participant from a Japanese brokerage said the Nikkei’s gains were capped as investors awaited corporate earnings and currency moves weighed on risk appetite.

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The dollar added 0.36% to 128.335 yen, after soaring to a two-decade high of 129.430 on Wednesday as the Bank of Japan stepped in to the bond market for the third time in three months to defend its zero-percent yield target, drawing a stark contrast with the Fed’s increasingly hawkish posture.

Chip-making equipment maker Tokyo Electron rose 3.42% and was the biggest boost to the Nikkei and the Topix, after its global peer ASML Holding NV beat earnings forecasts.

Air-conditioner maker Daikin Industries climbed 2.74% and game and camera maker Sony Group gained 0.96%.

Canon fell 2.3% even after a report said the office equipment and camera maker lifted its annual net profit forecast.

Cosmetic maker Kao was the biggest gainer among the top 30 core Topix names, rising 3.55%.

Trading firms were underperformers among the Topix 30, with Mitsubishi Corp down 0.84%, and Itochu losing 0.72%.

There were 143 advancers on the Nikkei index against 77 decliners

The volume of shares traded on the Tokyo Stock Exchange’s main board was 0.51 billion, compared with the average 1.31 billion in the past 30 days. (Reporting by Tokyo markets team; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

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