Nikkei closes nearly unchanged as tech shares cap gains
TOKYO, April 15 (Reuters) - Japanese shares closed slightly higher on Thursday, led by cyclical firms that would benefit from a global economic rebound and banks which tracked their U.S. peers, while a fall in technology stocks capped gains.
Nikkei share average .N225 edged up 0.07% to close at 29,642.69, after briefly retreating following a senior politician's comments on the possible cancellation of the Tokyo Olympics. broader Topix .TOPX rose 0.54% to 1,962.78.
"There are concerns about the economic slowdown in Japan due to a resurgence of the virus, but investors are looking at the economic sensitive stocks that would benefit from foreign demand," said Norihiro Fujito, chief investment strategist, Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS ) Securities.
"Particularly, foreign trades are expected to be active and that is boosting shipping firms."
The Topix subindex for shippers .ISHIP.T gained most among the 33 sector sub-indexes on the Tokyo exchange, with Nippon Yusen 9101.T jumping 4.37%, Mitsui OSK Lines 9104.T rising 2.77% and Kawasaki Kisen 9107.T gaining 3.43%.
The sub-indexes for mining .IMING.T and oil refiners .IPETE.T also advanced.
Chip-related firms Tokyo Electron 8035.T and Advantest 6857.T fell 1.94% and 2.6%, respectively, after an analyst at Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley cut their investment ratings.
Financial shares rose after Goldman Sachs Group Inc (NYSE: GS ) GS.N and Wells Fargo (NYSE: WFC ) & Co WFC.N advanced on bumper first-quarter profits. UFJ Financial Group 8306.T rose 1.28%, Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group 8316.T gained 1.58% and Nomura Holdings 8604.T advanced 2.01%.
Seven & i Holdings 3382.T , up 5.41%, was the largest percentage gainer on the Nikkei, followed by Nippon Yusen and Sumitomo Metal Mining 5713.T , which rose 3.98%.
The largest loser on the Nikkei was Casio Computer 6952.T , down 3.12%, followed by Screen Holdings 7735.T , which fell 3.01%, and Advantest.
There were 159 advancers on the Nikkei against 60 decliners.
(Reporing by Junko Fujita; Editing by Shailesh Kuber and Krishna Chandra Eluri)
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