TOKYO, Oct 7 (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei share average rose
on Thursday after eight consecutive sessions of losses, as signs
of progress in U.S. political negotiations over debt ceiling
offered a catalyst for bargain-hunting but the broader Topix
failed to maintain gains.
Investors bought back battered shares that had been beaten
down recently on worries central banks might pare stimulus
faster than expected due to rising concerns about higher
The Nikkei average added 0.54% to 27,678.21 but the
broader Topix failed to sustain earlier gains to end
0.12% lower at 1,939.62, marking the ninth consecutive day of
losses, which is its longest losing spell since 2012.
Decliners outnumbered gainers by a rough ratio of 3 to 2
, also pointing to a still fragile market sentiment.
"When the market began to look cheap after the Nikkei has
fallen back to 27,000-handle, we had a possible extension of
U.S. debt ceiling, so short-covering came in," said Naoya
Oshikubo, senior economist at Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Asset
The U.S. Senate appeared close to reaching a temporary deal
to avert a federal debt default in the next two weeks, after
Democrats said they might accept a Republican proposal to defuse
the partisan standoff that threatens the broader economy.
Volatile shippers bounced back, with their index
rising 4.8% after having lost almost a third of its value in the
previous eight sessions.
MSCI's semiconductor-related shares index
rose 1.3%, with Tokyo Electron up 1.6% and Screen
Holdings adding 1.5%.
Elsewhere, Welcia rose 5.9% after the drugstore
chain operator posted brisk earnings results in the three months
But Aeon lost 6.1% after the supermarket chain
operator's earnings disappointed investors.
Japan Post Holdings lost 0.6% after the government
said it would sell up to 1.03 billion shares, which at
Wednesday's closing price would be worth 952 billion yen ($8.52
To reduce the impact, the firm announced a share buyback of
up to 100 billion yen.
(Reporting by Hideyuki Sano; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu and
Krishna Chandra Eluri)