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Nikkei Flat as Chip Gains Counter Drugmaker Losses

TOKYO, June 23 (Reuters) - Japan’s benchmark Nikkei index was subdued on Wednesday as gains in chip-related heavyweights, which tracked Nasdaq overnight, were offset by losses in drugmakers.

The Nikkei 225 edged up 0.03% to close at 28,874.89, after seeing its biggest rise in 2021 on Tuesday, while the broader Topix slipped 0.53% to 1,949.14.

The benchmark index rose as much as 0.08% during the session.

“Gains in the Nasdaq overnight lifted the Nikkei today. And the Nasdaq’s move will be a key for the Nikkei’s performance for a while because Nikkei’s heavyweights are technology and growth stocks,” said Takatoshi Itoshima, strategist at Pictet Asset Management.

Wall Street rebounded overnight, led by the Nasdaq, as Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell vowed not to raise rates too quickly.

Chip-related companies Tokyo Electron and Advantest gained 0.89% and 1.90%, respectively.

Nitori Holdings jumped 5.28% after local media reported that the home improvement goods and furniture store operator would post a record operating profit for the quarter ended May, driven by robust demand for its products during the pandemic.

Chinese restaurant Totenko surged as much as 10.3%, before closing up 0.68%, after news that giant panda Shin Shin gave birth to twin cubs at Tokyo’s Ueno Zoo, which is near its main restaurant.

Drug stocks fell the most among all sectors, according to the Nikkei website, dragged down by Eisai, which fell 5.04%.

The shipping sector dropped 0.78%, after leading the Nikkei’s gain in the previous session, although Kawasaki Kisen gained 1.04% after raising its annual recurring profit forecast more than fourfold on Tuesday.

Reporting by Junko Fujita, Editing by Amy Caren Daniel

Source: Reuters

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