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Japan’s Nikkei ends slightly higher ahead of Powell speech

August 26, 2022By Reuters

TOKYO, Aug 26 (Reuters) – Japanese shares ended slightly higher on Friday after erasing some of their earlier gains, as cautious investors awaited a speech by Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell for fresh clues about the path of US monetary policy tightening.

The Nikkei share average ended up 0.57% at 28,641.38, well off the morning session’s high of 28,792.93.

The broader Topix also gave up some of its early gains to close 0.15% higher at 1,979.59.

The market were buoyed by a tech-led rally on Wall Street overnight, amid lower US bond yields as several Fed officials were non-committal about the size of interest rate hike they will approve at their meeting next month.

Powell will speak at the Fed’s annual symposium in Jackson Hole, Wyoming at 1400 GMT.

“The desire to close out positions may be strengthening,” a market participant at a domestic securities company said.

“It’s a difficult environment to take new positions,” a market participant at another securities firm said.

The Nikkei, however, still posted a 1% weekly drop, after a rally for three weeks.

Of the Nikkei’s 225 component stocks, 134 rose versus 83 that fell, while eight were flat.

Industrials made up the best performing sector, followed by basic materials and tech. Energy was the biggest loser, following an overnight decline in crude oil prices.

Chipmaking equipment maker Tokyo Electron was the biggest mover by index points, adding 35 points to the benchmark with a 2.23% gain.

Uniqlo store operator Fast Retailing contributed 33 points, with a 1.1% advance.

Startup investor SoftBank Group also rose 1.19%. That’s after major holding Alibaba rallied following a Wall Street Journal report that the United States and China were nearing an agreement allowing American accounting regulators to travel to Hong Kong to inspect audit records of US-listed Chinese companies.

(Reporting by Tokyo markets team; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu and Rashmi Aich)


This article originally appeared on reuters.com

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