Japanese stocks climb higher as Recruit Holdings compensates for chip weakness

TOKYO, Aug. 13 (Reuters) – Japanese stocks soared on Friday, as Recruit Holdings’ strong increase on its bullish outlook outweighed weakness in chip stocks which followed US peers lower.

The Nikkei stock average edged up 0.02% to 28,011.07-0211 GMT, while the larger Topix rose 0.20% to 1,957.48. The Nikkei was on track for a second consecutive weekly gain.

“US markets weren’t necessarily strong overnight as they fell into negative territory during the session. And the weakness in US chip stocks weighed on investor sentiment today,” Kentaro said. Hayashi, Senior Strategist at Daiwa Securities.

“But defensive stocks are strong, particularly Recruit Holdings in the services sector.”

Recruit Holdings, a heavyweight in the index, jumped 11.5% after the revised annual earnings forecast for the endowment and publishing company exceeded analyst consensus.

JFE Holdings rose 5.95% after the steelmaker nearly doubled its annual net profit forecast.

However, chipmaking equipment makers Tokyo Electron and Advantest lost 1.06% and 3.29%, respectively, as the Philadelphia semiconductor index fell for a sixth straight session on Thursday.

The air and ground transportation sectors fell the most among the Tokyo Stock Exchange’s 33 industry sub-indices as the pandemic in Japan worsens.

The country’s top health adviser has called for stricter emergency measures for about two weeks to deal with a spike in COVID-19 cases in Tokyo and other areas.

A few days after the end of the Olympic Games in Tokyo, the capital on Thursday reported 4,989 new daily cases, down slightly from the record of 5,042 last week.

Toshiba fell 4.37% despite returning to profitability, with the scandal-hit conglomerate saying it was working on the selection of candidates for a permanent CEO and chairman of the board. (Reporting by Junko Fujita in Tokyo; Editing by Ramakrishnan M.)

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