January 24, 2019 / 7:59 AM / 6 months ago

Nikkei ends flat, but chip-related firms bolster market

* Advantest, Tokyo Electron shine on Texas Instruments’ earnings

* Kabu.com jumps on report KDDI considers investment

* Turnover low as investors look to earnings

By Hideyuki Sano and Ayai Tomisawa

TOKYO, Jan 24 (Reuters) - Japan’s Nikkei ended almost flat on Thursday weighed down by a fall in index heavyweight Fast Retailing, but strong earnings from Texas Instruments boosted chip-related shares, supporting the broader market.

The Nikkei share average dipped 0.09 percent to 20,574.63, hit by a 3.1 percent fall in Fast Retailing, which accounts for more than 9 percent of the Nikkei. But it managed to stay above its 25-day moving average at 20,451.

The broader Topix was up 0.36 percent at 1,552.60, with chip-related shares and financials leading the gains.

Chip equipment makers enjoyed big relief rallies after Texas Instruments Inc beat Wall Street’s profit estimates, easing investor fears sparked by warnings of a slowing smartphone market from Apple Inc.

Advantest Corp surged 6.2 percent while Tokyo Electron jumped 4.5 percent and Screen Holdings gained 5.9 percent.

Financials also gained, with banks rising 1.1 percent and securities brokerages 1.6 percent.

Kabu.com Securities jumped 20.9 percent, hitting limit-high, after the news that telecom firm KDDI Corp was considering investing in Kabu.com.

KDDI shares ended down 0.4 percent.

Yet, turnover has been low recently as investors are on the sidelines, analysts said. On the Tokyo Stock Exchange’s main board, turnover was below 2 trillion yen for the past four days, compared with the average of about 2.6 trillion yen over the past year.

“Basically, investors are in a wait-and-see mode ahead of earnings. It’s becoming clear that the impact of U.S.-China trade frictions is not negligible,” said Takaaki Yoshino, head of investment technology office at Nissay Asset Management.

The earnings season will be in full swing next week in Japan.

Elsewhere, shares linked to the city of Nagasaki got a boost after Pope Francis unveiled a plan to visit Japan, sparking expectations his visit would be a big publicity boost and help attract tourists to the city. (Editing by Jacqueline Wong)

Nuestros Estándares:Los principios Thomson Reuters
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