Nikkei gains on global economic recovery hopes; banks track Goldman, Wells Fargo higher
TOKYO, April 15 (Reuters) - Japanese shares inched higher on Thursday as investors picked up cyclical firms that would benefit from a global economic rebound, while financials tracked an overnight rise in Goldman Sachs and Wells Fargo (NYSE: WFC ) & Co stocks.
Nikkei share average .N225 edged up 0.3% to 29,709.38 by 0151 GMT, while the broader Topix .TOPX gained 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 5.7%, Mitsui OSK Lines 9104.T rising 3.17% and Kawasaki Kisen 9107.T climbing 4.4%.
The sub-index for mining .IMING.T and oil refiners .IPETE.T also advanced.
Financial shares rose after Goldman Sachs Group Inc (NYSE: GS ) GS.N and Wells Fargo & Co WFC.N advanced on bumper first-quarter profits. UFJ Financial Group 8306.T rose 2.11%, Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group 8316.T gained 2.16% and Nomura Holdings 8604.T advanced 2.05%.
Toshiba Corp 6502.T rose 1.65%, following reports that the conglomerate is seeing more bidders to take it private. & i Holdings Co 3382.T , up 4.89 %, gained the most among the top 30 core Topix names, followed by Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group.
The underperformers among the Topix 30 were Nintendo 7974.T , down 1.71%, followed by Fanuc 6954.T losing 0.55%.
There were 181 advancers on the Nikkei index against 41 decliners.
All but three of the 33 sector sub-indexes on the Tokyo exchange traded higher. (Reporing by Junko Fujita; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)
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