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Tech sector leads Nikkei to 10-month high, profit-taking hits Topix

Stock MarketsOct 18, 2019 15:24
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Tech sector leads Nikkei to 10-month high, profit-taking hits Topix

* Nikkei up 0.18% but broader Topix shed 0.13%
* NT ratio at highest since 1992
* Semiconductor-related shares jump after TSMC earnings

By Hideyuki Sano
TOKYO, Oct 18 (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei hit a 10-month high
on Friday after high-tech companies jumped on upbeat earnings
from Taiwan's TSMC while the broader market ended lower,
succumbing to profit-taking after weaker-than-expected Chinese
GDP data.
The Nikkei share average .N225 rose 0.18% to 22,492.68,
its highest finish since early December last year, pulling back
from rising as much as 0.88% earlier. For the week, the Nikkei
was up 3.18%.
The broader Topix .TOPX , a gauge of all firms on the main
board of the Tokyo Stock Exchange, ended 0.13% lower at
1,621.99.
Their divergent performances lifted the so-called NT ratio
.NTIDX , of the two indexes, to the highest since 1992.
The Nikkei was buoyed by a rise in heavyweight Fast
Retailing 9983.T as well as a few heavily-weighted tech
shares, including Fanuc 6954.T , Shin-etsu Chemical 4063.T
and Omron 6645.T .
The tech sector led gains after Taiwan Semiconductor
Manufacturing Co (TSMC) 2330.TW - the world's top contract
chipmaker - raised on Thursday its 2019 capital spending plan by
up to $5 billion and forecast a nearly 10% rise in
fourth-quarter revenue on strong demand for faster mobile chips
and new high-end smartphones.
Screen Holdings 7735.T , a major chip industry supplier,
gained 7.9% with trade volume reaching almost three times the
average while Sumco 3436.T rose 4.3%.
Tri Chemical Laboratories 4369.T , maker of high-purity
chemicals for semiconductor manufacturing, jumped 6.8%.
Among bigger firms, Murata Manufacturing 6981.T gained
1.2%, and Keyence 6861.T rose 1.0%.
While the market got an early boost from relief over Britain
and the European Union striking a deal on the UK's departure
from the bloc, soft Chinese GDP triggered profit-taking.
China's third-quarter economic growth slowed more than
expected to 6.0%, its weakest pace in almost three decades.
Still, overall sentiment remained positive as U.S. corporate
earnings have so far mostly beat market expectations. .N
That also raised some hopes that Japanese companies'
earnings outlook could bottom out soon. The Topix's forward
earnings per share (EPS) has declined 9% to 122.86 since peaking
in November.
At home, investor sentiment also benefited from a trade deal
reached between Japan and the United States which the Japanese
government said would likely boost the domestic economy by about
0.8%. Despite the small losses in Topix, advancers slightly
outnumbered decliners by a ratio of roughly 21 to 20.
Defensive shares, such as food companies, were among the
worst performers as investors moved out of them to more cyclical
shares.
NH Foods 2282.T dropped 2.4%, cosmetic firm Shiseido
4911.T declined 3.1% and Keisei Electric Railway 9009.T fell
2.1%.

(Editing by Jacqueline Wong)

Tech sector leads Nikkei to 10-month high, profit-taking hits Topix
 

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