Japan, China shares up in thin holiday trade

21 April, 2019 12:00 AM printer

TOKYO: Tokyo and Shanghai stocks closed higher Friday but trade lacked direction with several major markets closed for Easter holidays.

In Japan, the benchmark Nikkei 225 index added 0.50 percent, or 110.44 points, to 22,200.56, while the broader Topix index climbed 0.12 percent, or 1.96 points, to 1,616.93.

The market’s main gainer was Nintendo, which jumped more than 14 percent on reports its games and popular Switch console will soon be available in China, reports AFP.

Meanwhile, Chinese stocks managed to claw higher despite some early wobbles over concerns that China’s slowing economy could hit soon-to-be- released corporate earnings.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.63 percent, or 20.62 points, to close at 3,270.80.

The Shenzhen Composite Index, which tracks stocks on China’s second exchange, added 0.94 percent, or 16.51 points, to end the day at 1,778.81.

The Japanese market stayed comfortably in positive territory throughout the day, initially lifted by strong gains in overseas markets. But a lack of fresh clues and the closure of several major international markets for Easter prompted position adjustment and profit-taking in the afternoon session, said Okasan Online Securities in a commentary.

“After an initial round of buying subsided, (the Nikkei index) became trapped inside a narrow range around 21,200,” Okasan said.

“Only few investors were chasing the higher end of the market since major foreign markets are entering a break through Monday,” it said.

Wall Street shares finished modestly higher Thursday following a batch of mostly solid corporate earnings and a successful market debut of technology company Pinterest. The dollar stood at 111.91 yen in Asian trade, slightly slipping from 112.00 yen in New York overnight.

Tokyo investors are gradually preparing themselves for a special 10-day holiday from the end of the month for an upcoming imperial succession.