Japan stocks gain in thin trade, defensive sector gets boost

  • Reuters
  • Stock Market News
Japan stocks gain in thin trade, defensive sector gets boost
Credit: © Reuters.

TOKYO, Feb 23 (Reuters) - Tokyo stocks rose on Friday in light trade as receding fears of more aggressive U.S. interest rate hikes boosted sentiment, with defensive shares such as construction and utilities outperforming.

The benchmark Nikkei .N225 ended 0.7 percent higher at 21,892.78. For the week, it was up 0.8 percent, rising for two straight weeks.

The broader Topix .TOPX gained 0.8 percent to 1,760.53, but trading was thin, with only 1.19 billion shares changing hands, the lowest since late December.

Construction companies Kajima Corp 1812.T and Taisei Corp 1801.T climbed 3.4 percent and 2.9 percent, respectively, and Tokyo Electric Power Co 9501.T rose 1.8 percent and Kansai Electric Power 9503.T jumping 5.0 percent.

Mining stocks also gained, with Inpex 1605.T and Japan Petroleum Exploration 1662.T rising 2.1 percent and 1.1 percent, respectively, after oil prices rose to two-week highs on Thursday before dipping on Friday.

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