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Nikkei Gains Amid Glass Firms, Department Stores Upbeat Data

TOKYO, April 13 (Reuters) - Japanese shares rose on Tuesday, led by gains in stocks of glass product companies and department store operators after their robust earnings, though concerns about rising domestic COVID-19 cases undermined travel-related shares.

Nikkei share average rose 0.72% to 29,751.61, holding above key support levels from its 25-day, and 50-day moving average, at 29,503 and 29,440.

The broader Topix gained 0.20% to 1,958.55, but it moved in a tight range it has hugged over the past several sessions.

“Today’s moves were mostly reactions to individual earnings. Overall, the market does not have a clear sense of direction at the moment, as investors looked to whether the Fed will start communication about tapering its stimulus,” said Nobuhiko Kuramochi, senior strategist at Mizuho Securities.

AGC rose 2.9%, briefly hitting a 10-year high, after the glass product maker revised up its earnings outlook and dividend forecasts. The results also bumped up rival Nippon Sheet Glass 6.8%.

Takashimaya gained 4.3% after the department store chain operator announced a larger-than-expected profit in the current financial year after a dismal year hit by the pandemic.

That boosted shares of its competitors including J.Front Retailing and Isetan Mitsukoshi, which rose 4.0% and 1.7%, respectively.

Hopes of vaccine rollouts also helped to underpin department store shares, but rising concerns about a surge in domestic COVID-19 cases hit travel-related sectors.

West Japan Railway fell 2.1% and Central Japan Railway lost 1.6%, while Tokyo Disney Resort operator Oriental Land lost 1.3%.

Japan late last week placed Tokyo under a new, month-long state of “quasi-emergency” to combat surging COVID-19 infections, while the western region of Osaka is set to report a daily record of more than 1,000 new infections.

Elsewhere, medical equipment maker Asahi Intecc fell 4.1% after it announced a plan to issue warrants to raise 30 billion yen.

(Reporting by Hideyuki Sano; Editing by Rashmi Aich)

Source: Reuters

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