Japan’s Nikkei tracks Wall Street rally to edge higher

Japan’s Nikkei tracks Wall Street rally to edge higher

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TOKYO — Japan’s Nikkei share average edged higher on Friday, getting some support from Wall Street rally overnight, although the index failed to scale the psychological 28,000 level.

The Nikkei was up 0.46% at 27,944.55 as of midday break, after briefly rising as high as 28,001.80. It breached 28,015.68 on Thursday for the first time since June 10, but then slid back to end the day up 0.36% at 27,815.48.

The index is on track to eke out a weekly advance of 0.11%.

“Above 28,000, investors are keen to take profits, so that’s proving to be a stiff resistance point,” said Masahiro Ichikawa, chief market strategist at Sumitomo Mitsui DS Asset Management in Tokyo.

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“Several times this year, the Nikkei has attempted 28,000, but failed to stay above that level.”

Of the Nikkei’s 225 component stocks, 136 rose versus 82 that fell, with seven trading flat.

Energy was the best performing sector, up 0.92%, boosted by a surge in crude oil prices.

Utilities and healthcare stocks lagged, down 0.17% and 0.63%, respectively.

The broader Topix was flat at 1,949.23.

Overnight, the U.S. S&P 500 jumped 1.21%, and futures pointed to a further 0.66% advance at the reopen.

Uniqlo store operator Fast Retailing was the biggest support for the Nikkei, adding 48 points to the index with its 1.74% advance.

Chip-making equipment manufacturer Advantest was another standout, rallying 4.64% after positive earnings.

Shares of NEC were the biggest laggards in the Nikkei, sliding 6.81% after the network services company reported its first loss in two years.

Chipmaker Renesas, which is not a constituent of the Nikkei index, tumbled 8.61% after its financial results disappointed investors.

Automakers sank under pressure from a stronger yen overnight, with Nissan dropping 3.5% and Honda losing 0.64%. Toyota bucked the trend to gain 0.92%.

Startup investor SoftBank Group rose 0.57% and Sony climbed 1.24%.

(Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)

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