TOKYO, June 18 (Reuters) - Japan's benchmark Nikkei inched
up on Friday as technology stocks tracked a strong finish on the
tech-heavy Nasdaq index, while the broader Topix index fell
after Toyota Motor retreated from its record high.
The Nikkei share average rose 0.33% by 0209 GMT,
while the broader Topix inched down 0.17% to 1,960.11.
The Nasdaq ended 13 points short of its record finish
earlier this week, but it was still the index's second-highest
close ever, adding 121.67 points, or 0.87%, to 14,161.35.
"The market has been unsettled all week and it will be
difficult to decide how to allocate money going forward as the
direction of the U.S. rates remain unclear," said Soichiro
Matsumoto, chief investment officer Japan at Credit Suisse
Back home, Japan may hold the Olympics with spectators
despite opposition from medical experts, raising concerns that
the Summer Games could spark another surge in COVID-19
The president of the Tokyo 2020 organising committee wants
to allow up to 10,000 spectators for Olympic stadiums, local
"The Olympics is making the Japanese market's outlook
unclear, which is why the market has failed to catch up with
those in the U.S. and Europe," Matsumoto said.
Eisai surged 10.26% after the drug maker and
Bristol-Myers Squibb entered into an agreement worth up
to $3.10 billion to jointly develop and market an experimental
Medical platform services firm M3 jumped 2.88% and
medical equipment maker Terumo rose 2.81%.
Chip-related shares advanced, with Tokyo Electron
gaining 1.22% and Advantest rising 2.18%.
Toyota Motor fell 2.92% after hitting its record high this
Nidec Corp, up 4.5%, gained the most among the top
30 core Topix names, followed by Hoya Corp.
Mitsui & Co Ltd, down 2.96%, was the worst
performer among the Topix 30, followed by Toyota Motor.
(Reporting by Junko Fujita; editing by Uttaresh.V)