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Nikkei Ends Higher on Tech Boost; Corporate Outlook in Focus

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Japan’s Nikkei closed higher on Tuesday, boosted by heavyweight technology stocks that tracked Nasdaq’s gains, even as concerns prevailed ahead of the domestic earnings season starting next week.

The Nikkei share average ended up 0.65% at 29,215.52, while the broader Topix edged up 0.36% to 2,026.57 after briefly turning negative earlier in the session.

“Investors are awaiting corporate results and forecasts. Some factors could affect the outlook, such as the weakened yen and rising oil prices,” said Masahiro Ichikawa, chief market strategist at Sumitomo Mitsui DS Asset Management.

“Also, investors sold value stocks as the U.S. and Japanese interest rates dropped in early Asian trading hours, which is why banks and carmakers were weak,” he said, referring to Japanese government bond and U.S. Treasury yields.

Overnight, the Nasdaq and the S&P 500 closed higher amid gains in U.S. mega-cap technology and other growth names, while the Dow edged lower.

Chip-making equipment maker Tokyo Electron rose 1.86%, global technology investor SoftBank Group jumped 3.06% and robot maker Fanuc advanced 1.61%.

Toyota Motor weighed the most on the Topix with a 0.49% drop, while Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group slipped 0.77%.

Shippers gained the most among the exchange’s 33 industry sub-indexes with a 7.07% jump. Kawasaki Kisen rose 8.57% and Nippon Yusen added 7.43%.

Oil explorers were the biggest losers among sectors as crude oil prices eased, falling 3.78%. Inpex fell 3.86% and Japan Petroleum Exploration lost 5.1%