TOKYO, Aug 30 (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei share average rose
on Monday, catching the tailwind from a bounce on Wall Street
after Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell's comments at the
Jackson Hole Symposium allayed market fears of a fast withdrawal
of the U.S. stimulus.
While Powell's remarks provided a minor lift to Japanese
stocks, the country still struggles to contain a fifth wave of
coronavirus infections, with investors also maintaining a
cautious stance ahead of a ruling party leadership election on
The Nikkei was up 0.28% at 27,718.86 by the midday
break, after the benchmark climbed as high as 27,921.55 earlier
in the session. The broader Topix advanced 0.68% to
1,941.86, but down from a more than two-week high of 1,949.02
scaled earlier in the day.
"As Nikkei approached 28,000, sellers came out to take
profits," Masahiro Ichikawa, chief market strategist at Sumitomo
Mitsui DS Asset Management said.
With the pandemic and politics both clouding the outlook,
"investors seem to adopt a wait-and-see stance" before pushing
stocks much higher, he said.
Chair Powell appeared on Friday to strike a more dovish tone
than many other officials, refraining from providing a clearer
picture regarding the timing of tapering or interest rate hikes.
All three main U.S. stock indexes ended higher, with the S&P
500 and Nasdaq scaling record highs.
A rally in commodities put domestic commodity-related
sub-sectors in four of the top five spots in the Topix, led by a
3.63% jump for Japanese iron and steel companies.
The sea transport sub-sector was the second-best
performer, climbing 2.6% and hitting its highest since 2008.
Nippon Steel was the biggest gainer on Nikkei,
surging 4.59%, followed by a 4.25% climb in JFE Holdings
. Metals companies Dowa Holdings, Kobe Steel
, and Pacific Metals rounded out in the top
Shipper Nippon Yusen gained 2.28%, reaching its
highest level since 2008.
Car and truck makers fared well, with Hino Motors
advancing 3.68% and Mitsubishi Motors gaining 2.93%.
Toyota Motor Corp. rose 0.58%, while Nissan Motor Co.
Semiconductor shares were also trading higher, with Tokyo
Electron up 0.74% and Advantest adding 0.32%.
Among decliners, Uniqlo operator Fast Retailing
sank 1.6% to be the second-worst performer on the Nikkei, while
SoftBank Group dropped 0.44% and Sony Group
(Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)