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Japanese stocks inch higher as chip makers, exporters gain

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TOKYO — Japanese shares inched higher on Tuesday, underpinned by gains in chip-related stocks and as exporters advanced after the yen weakened against the dollar overnight.

The Nikkei share average rose 0.29% to 27,902.11 by the midday break, while the broader Topix was up 0.14% at 1,950.72.

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“As the yen weakened, some shares looked attractive,” said Chihiro Ohta, assistant general manager at the investment research and investor services at SMBC Nikko Securities.

The dollar gained against the yen overnight, after data showed that U.S. services industry activity unexpectedly picked up in November, prompting speculation the Federal Reserve may lift interest rates more than recently projected.

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Tokyo Electron and Advantest rose 1.02% and 1.59%, respectively. Robot maker Fanuc gained 0.77%.

Uniqlo brand owner Fast Retailing rose 1.26% and provided the biggest support to the Nikkei.

Automaker Mazda Motor jumped 3.04% to become the top gainer on the Nikkei, while peer motorcycle maker Yamaha Motor rose 3%.

“The market took cues from the U.S. market and was down earlier, but there was demand for buying on dips mainly from retail investors,” said Shigetoshi Kamada, general manager at the research department at Tachibana Securities.

CyberAgent, which has been streaming all the FIFA World Cup matches on its Abema platform, slipped 3.51% to become the worst performer on the Nikkei after Japan lost against Croatia.

British-style pub chain Hub Co, another stock which benefited from Japan’s surprise win over Germany and Spain at the World Cup, tanked 8.18%. (Reporting by Junko Fujita; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

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