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Nikkei inches up as financials cushion slide in construction stocks

Published 2017/12/20, 08:35
Updated 2017/12/20, 08:40
© Reuters.  Nikkei inches up as financials cushion slide in construction stocks

TOKYO, Dec 20 (Reuters) - Japanese stocks eked out modest gains on Wednesday in choppy trade as strength in financials offset a sustained sell-off in construction shares amid a suspected bid-rigging scandal.

The Nikkei share average .N225 edged up 0.1 percent to 22,891.72 after trading in the red.

Financial firms took heart from higher U.S. yields as they invest in high-yielding products such as foreign bonds. Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group 8306.T advanced 2.1 percent and Dai-ichi Life Holdings 8750.T rose 2.5 percent.

The construction sector .ICNST.T slipped 0.7 percent and was the second worst sectoral performer, with Taisei Corp 1801.T sliding 2.7 percent after the Nikkei business daily reported that the construction firm had asked rival Obayashi Corp 1802.T to refrain from bidding on a project for magnetic levitation (maglev) trains. Japan Display Inc 6740.T jumped 3.1 percent after Kyodo reported that it is discussing an investment of more than 200 billion yen ($1.8 billion) from three Chinese panel makers including BOE Technology Group Co 000725.SZ .

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