TOKYO, April 9 (Reuters) - Japanese shares closed higher on
Friday, buoyed by growing expectations that companies will
report healthy profits and issue upbeat forecasts as earnings
reports start to roll in.
The Nikkei 225 Index ended up 0.2% at 29,768.06,
while the broader Topix gained 0.39% to 1,959.47.
Stocks in Tokyo got off to a bright start, tracking the S&P
500's record closing high and supportive comments from
U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell on Thursday.
Shares of industrial robot and semiconductor manufacturing
equipment maker Yaskawa Electric Corp ended flat ahead
of its earnings due later in the day.
Analysts said this could set the tone for Japan's industrial
sector, which is expected to benefit from a rebound in global
capital expenditure and rising investment to ease a shortage in
"This is just the beginning of the (equities) cycle," said
Junichi Inoue, head of Japanese equities at Janus Henderson
"This is going to be capex-driven and a bigger cycle than
previously. Japanese companies are very strong in capital
equipment. In general, the machinery sector should benefit."
The stock that gained the most among the top 30 core Topix
names was Sony Group Corp, up 2.77%. Hitachi Ltd
rose 2.66%, boosted by reports it was in talks to sell
its metals unit.
The underperformers among the Topix 30 were Seven & i
Holdings Co Ltd down 2.53%, followed by Itochu Corp
Looking ahead to next week, one factor that could limit
equity gains is the Japanese government's plan to place Tokyo
under a new, month-long "quasi-emergency" state to combat
surging COVID-19 case numbers, analysts said.
There were 149 advancers on the Nikkei index against 73
The volume of shares traded on the Tokyo Stock Exchange's
main board was 0.96 billion, compared to the average of
1.38 billion in the past 30 days.
(Reporting by Stanley White; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu and