UPDATE1: Tokyo stocks end higher as U.S.-led strikes on Syria seen as limited

Japan Economic Newswire |

Tokyo stocks closed higher Monday as investors were apparently relieved by the limited nature of the U.S.-led strikes on Syria.

The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average ended up 56.79 points, or 0.26 percent, from Friday at 21,835.53. The broader Topix index of all First Section issues on the Tokyo Stock Exchange finished 6.86 points, or 0.40 percent, higher at 1,736.22.

Gainers were led by pharmaceutical, fishery and agriculture, and retail issues.

The Nikkei rose over 100 points in the early morning before becoming top-heavy with many market participants shifting their focus to a two-day summit between the United States and Japan from Tuesday, brokers said.

"Investors were relieved that the military action didn't expand further," said Masahiro Ichikawa, senior strategist at Sumitomo Mitsui Asset Management Co., as the strikes were limited to Syrian chemical weapons facilities and did not escalate into a direct confrontation with Russia.

Russia has been backing President Bashar al-Assad's government in the Syrian civil war.

Shares lost steam in the afternoon, also affected by weakness in other Asian markets, traders said.

At the Japan-U.S. summit, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and President Donald Trump are expected to discuss North Korea as well as trade issues, after some U.S. protectionist measures triggered a backlash from major trading partners.

"Market players are concerned whether Mr. Trump will make some (tough) requests to Japan on trade issues," said Makoto Sengoku, market analyst at the Tokai Tokyo Research Institute.

"If Mr. Trump mentions (Japan's) trade surplus (with the United States), export-related issues will be hit," Sengoku added.

On the First Section, advancing issues outnumbered decliners 1,192 to 805, with 85 ending the day unchanged.

Investors went after some domestic demand-sensitive issues, which were less affected by the tensions over Syria.

Drug maker Kyowa Hakko Kirin rose 44 yen, or 1.9 percent, to 2,418 yen and retailer Seven&i Holdings added 67 yen, or 1.4 percent, to 4,751 yen.

Trading volume on the main section fell to 1,310.43 million shares from Friday's 1,527.66 million shares.


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