UPDATE1: Tokyo stocks flat in morning, capped by investors locking in gains

Japan Economic Newswire |

Tokyo stocks were almost flat Thursday morning as buying on higher oil prices was offset by investors selling to lock in recent gains.

The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average rose 7.80 points, or 0.04 percent, from Wednesday to 19,873.62. The broader Topix index of all First Section issues on the Tokyo Stock Exchange was up 1.07 points, or 0.07 percent, to 1,638.40.

Gainers were led by mining, and oil and coal product issues, while marine transportation and nonferrous metal issues were among decliners.

After fluctuating between negative and positive territories, Tokyo stocks ended the morning session nearly flat, with the market's downside supported by upbeat earnings on Wall Street overnight and the easing yen, brokers said.

Major U.S. stock indexes closed at records for the second straight day Wednesday, boosted by shares of energy companies following a sharp rise in crude oil prices.

Oil prices rose to a one-month high in New York, amid a sharp drop in gasoline inventories and brightened outlooks for oil demand after the International Energy Agency revised upward global oil demand forecasts for 2017 in its monthly report.

Tracking the U.S. counterparts, stocks in the mining as well as the oil and coal product sectors gained sharply in the Tokyo market.

In addition, export-oriented issues were helped by the weaker yen, said Hiroaki Kuramochi, director of marketing and business development at brokerage Fujitomi Co.

But the gain was limited and shares drifted lower at one point with investors locking in gains following recent rises, Kuramochi added. The Nikkei has surged roughly 600 points during the last three days.

On the First Section, declining issues outnumbered advancing ones 984 to 918, with 126 ending the morning unchanged.

Among energy-related issues, Japan Petroleum Exploration rose 27 yen, or 1.3 percent, to 2,137 yen, Inpex gained 12.50 yen, or 1.2 percent, to 1,082.00 yen, while Showa Shell Sekiyu grew 17 yen, or 1.4 percent, to 1,213 yen.

Export-oriented electronics and automakers were boosted by the yen's fall, with electronic component maker Murata Mfg. advancing 140 yen, or 0.8 percent, to 16,640 yen, and Suzuki Motor up 62 yen, or 1.1 percent, to 5,962 yen.

Torikizoku, a grilled chicken restaurant operator, surged 483 yen, or 18.0 percent, to 3,160 yen, after the company estimated a sharp rise in its sales and profit forecast for the year through .


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