BCN-05 Tokyo stocks gain on bargain-hunting

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BCN-05

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Tokyo stocks gain on bargain-hunting

TOKYO, Dec 17, 2018 (BSS/AFP) – Tokyo stocks gained slightly on Monday as
investors bought on dips following a sharp decline late last week, while
their focus shifted ahead of a US Federal Reserve meeting.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index, which dropped more than two percent on
Friday, rose 0.62 percent or 132.05 points to close at 21,506.88, while the
broader Topix index was up 0.13 percent or 2.04 points at 1,594.20.

“Buy-back was seen among shares in major companies following a sharp
decline on Friday,” Daiwa Securities senior technical analyst Hikaru Sato
told AFP.

“But the buy-back was not strong enough to boost shares further,” Sato
said, adding that it may take more time to improve market sentiment.

Takashi Hiroki, chief strategist at Monex, said the two-day US Fed meeting
that ends on Wednesday is “the most important event this week” and investors
are watching for the pace of rate hikes in 2019.

“Falls in US shares (last week) are said to be caused by weak economic
data in China and Europe, but these are not new factors,” he said in a
commentary, adding that current market sentiment is vulnerable to “even the
slightest worries given the prevailing uncertainty”.

In Tokyo, SoftBank’s initial public offering on Wednesday will also likely
have an impact on the market, analysts said.

The dollar fetched 113.51 yen in Asian afternoon trade against 113.29 yen
in New York late Friday.

Banks were higher, with Mitsubishi UFJ trading up 0.13 percent to 583.9
yen, Sumitomo Mitsui Financial up 0.56 percent at 3,939 yen and Mizuho
Financial up 0.22 percent at 179.7 yen.

Nissan was down 0.27 percent at 929.9 yen ahead of its board meeting to
discuss corporate governance and choosing a replacement for former chairman
Carlos Ghosn, after his arrest and dismissal.

Rival Toyota was up 0.16 percent at 6,840 yen but Honda was down 0.13
percent at 3,050 yen.

BSS/AFP/MR/ 1440 hrs