Japan’s Nikkei closes lower as tech shares drag; value stocks up

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Japan’s Nikkei share average closed slightly lower on Friday as losses in technology shares overshadowed gains in value stocks amid a weak yen and higher yields.

The Nikkei slipped 0.09% to 38,596.47 after three straight sessions of gains. However, it fell 0.49% for the week.

“Investors sold stocks that had been rising, such as SoftBank Group and some chip stocks, and bought back value stocks with higher dividend payouts,” said Ryotaro Sawada, senior analyst at Tokai Tokyo Intelligence Laboratory.

The dollar pushed to a fresh eight-week top above 159 yen and clung close to a five-week peak to sterling, with the Federal Reserve’s patient approach to cutting interest rates contrasting with more dovish stances elsewhere.

Japan’s 10-year government bond yield rose to a more than one-week high of 0.98% in early trade. Chip-related shares tracked market bellwether Nvidia lower. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq fell on Thursday. Chip-testing equipment maker Advantest lost 0.87%, while chip-making equipment maker Tokyo Electron recovered from early losses to close 0.09% higher. Technology investor SoftBank Group fell 3.14% to drag the Nikkei the most.

Value shares rose, with the shipping sector gaining 1.21% to become the top performer among the Tokyo Stock Exchange’s 33 industry sub-indexes.

The insurance sector rose 1.17%, with Tokio Marine Holdings gaining 1.79%. Railway operators climbed 0.71%.

Heavy machinery maker IHI jumped 6.94% to become the top percentage gainer on the Nikkei.

The broader Topix closed down 0.03%, declining 0.8% for the week.

Of the more than 1,600 stocks traded on the TSE’s prime market, 672 shares rose and 919 fell with 55 being flat.

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