August 16, 2019 / 6:36 AM / 2 days ago

Japanese shares edge up as Hong Kong, China markets stabilise

* Nikkei gains 0.06%, Topix adds 0.1%

* Unizo surges on report of takeover bid from U.S. investment firm

By Shinichi Saoshiro

TOKYO, Aug 16 (Reuters) - Japanese shares edged up Friday after markets in China and Hong Kong found some stability amid ongoing unrest in Hong Kong, but the gains were limited by nagging fears of a global economic slowdown.

The Nikkei index gained 0.06% on Friday to 20,418.81. The index fell 1.2% in the previous session.

“The rise by equities in Hong Kong and Shanghai amid a suggestion by U.S. President (Donald) Trump to China’s president that they discuss issues, including the situation in Hong Kong, has supported the market,” said Yutaka Miura, senior technical analyst at Mizuho Securities.

“But the market’s gains are limited by global recession fears.”

President Trump said on Thursday that he had a call scheduled soon with Chinese President Xi Jinping, but he did not say when.

The Nikkei has lost 1.3% this week, during which an inversion of the U.S. Treasury yield curve -widely regarded as a recession signal- triggered a global sell-off in riskier assets.

Some exporters fared a little better as the yen’s advance against the dollar stalled. Nissan Motor Co was up 0.6%, Panasonic added 0.5% and Hitachi gained 0.6%.

Semiconductor manufacturer Renesas climbed 3.3% after its U.S. peers such as Applied Materials Inc and Nvidia Corp posted upbeat results.

Other tech-related shares also gained, with Tokyo Electron rising 2% and Toshiba Corp adding 1.3%.

Unizo Holdings jumped 15.7% after the Nikkei daily reported that U.S. investment firm Fortress Investment Group will offer to buy the hotel operator, launching a counter bid against travel agency H.I.S. Co.

H.I.S. rose 5.8% amid speculation that it could potentially pull back from a financially taxing takeover in the face of competition from Fortress.

Financial shares remained under pressure, with this week’s sharp drop in bond yields seen hurting their profitability. Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group was down 0.5% and Shinsei Bank shed 2%.

There were 131 advancers on the Nikkei index against 88 decliners.

The largest percentage gainer in the index was Daiwa House Industry Co, which rose 5.1%. The largest percentage loser was Recruit Holdings Co, which suffered a loss of 3.1%.

The volume of shares traded on the Tokyo Stock Exchange’s main board was 0.86 billion, compared to the average of 1.13 billion yen in the past 30 days.

The broader Topix added 0.1% to 1,485.29. (Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)

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