October 25, 2019 / 7:09 AM / 24 days ago

Nikkei edges up to fresh 1-year high; chip-related shares jump

TOKYO, Oct 25 (Reuters) - Japan’s benchmark Nikkei share average inched up to a fresh one-year peak on Friday as some positive earnings from overseas tech companies offset growth concerns, with semiconductor-related stocks leading the gainers.

The Nikkei average rose 0.2% to 22,799.81, its highest closing level since October last year. For the week, it was up 1.4%, the third consecutive weekly advance.

The broader Topix gained 0.3% to 1,648.44, its highest close in 10-1/2 months.

Semiconductor-related stocks shined after Intel beat Wall Street estimates for third-quarter revenue and profit and raised its full-year revenue forecast overnight, easing concerns about slowing demand.

Lam Research was the top boost to the Philadelphia SE Semiconductor index, which rose 2.5% overnight in New York trading, after the chip equipment maker forecast strong results for the December quarter.

In Tokyo, the Nikkei heavyweight Tokyo Electron and Screen Holdings both climbed 2.6%.

Disco soared 11.6% even after the chipmaking equipment firm reported weak earnings for April-September on a higher-than-expected dividend as well as hopes the downturn in orders may bottom out next year.

“The market is definitely already thinking beyond this financial year,” said Takeo Kamai, head of executions services at CLSA in Tokyo.

Elsewhere, Eisai enjoyed its stellar run of the past two days, surging 8.2% after reaching its daily limit-high on Wednesday and Thursday, as the Japanese drugmaker agreed with its U.S. partner Biogen to revive plans to seek U.S. approval for an Alzheimer’s treatment.

Chugai Pharmaceutical added 3.5% as the company reported a hefty 67% jump in net profit for the January-September period, thanks to strong sales of hemophilia drug. (Reporting by Tomo Uetake; Editing by Richard Borsuk)

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