Nikkei inches up on U.S. stimulus hopes as trade resumes after outage

TOKYO, Oct 2 (Reuters) - Japanese shares inched up on Friday with investors clinging to hopes for more U.S. fiscal stimulus as the Tokyo Stock Exchange resumed trading after a full-day of system outage the previous day.

Nikkei share average edged up 0.15% by midday to 23,219.62. The broader Topix ended the morning session 0.03% lower at 1,624.96, giving up earlier gains.

The small gains in Nikkei followed Wall Street’s extended rally as investors pinned their hopes on the progress over stimulus talks in Washington as economic recovery from the pandemic-induced recession appears to lose momentum.

The market took the impact of Thursday’s outage in its stride, with traders relieved that the system was recovered after an unprecedented one-day shutdown due to technical troubles.

“Today’s market is driven more by gains in U.S. shares than by the system troubles at the TSE. The glitch is not affecting the market overall,” said Maki Sawada, equity strategist at Nomura Securities.

By late morning trade, the market’s turnover had reached 1.20 trillion yen ($11.37 billion), a little higher than usual.

Shares of Japan Exchange Group, the parent company of Tokyo Stock Exchange, fell 1.6% while Fujitsu, developer of the exchange’s system, lost 2.2%.

Department store operators, one of the worst-hit segments this year, extended their strong recovery after a leading firm, J.Front Retailing, upgraded its earnings forecast earlier this week.

Isetan Mitsukoshi gained 7.7% while Takashimaya rose 6.9% and J.Front Retailing added 7.1% to log a weekly gain of almost 22%.

Nishimatsuya, operator of infant goods stores, rose 6.8% to a 4-year high, after it too raised its earnings forecast.

Other cyclical value shares, including carmakers, were also in demand. Nissan Motor rose 2.4% while Honda Motor gained 2.1%.

In contrast, investors rotated out of this year’s winners such as drugmakers.

Daiichi Sankyo lost 3.5% while Shionogi fell 3.3%.

$1 = 105.58 yen Reporting by Hideyuki Sano; Editing by Vinay Dwivedi

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