TOKYO, Dec 25 (Reuters) - Japanese shares were little
changed in holiday-thinned trade on Friday but some investors
bought pro-cyclical stocks that are expected to perform well
next year as the global economy recovers from the coronavirus
The Nikkei 225 Index was largely steady, off just
0.02% to 26,662.34 by 0202 GMT. The broader Topix rose
0.08% to 1,775.74.
Shares in the shipping, raw materials, and real estate
sectors rose, while tech firms fell in overall activity
substantially thinned by the closure of many financial markets
for Christmas holidays.
Sentiment was underpinnnd by Britain and the European Union
securing a free-trade deal, and further soothed earlier in the
week by U.S. lawmakers agreeing a $900 billion economic stimulus
The roll out of coronavirus vaccinations and expectations
that interest rates will remain low for a prolonged period have
also brightened prospects for equities next year.
"For policy and financial markets a goldilocks scenario is
likely to continue next year due to a gradual economic recovery
and monetary easing," analysts at Mizuho Securities said in a
The stocks that gained the most among the top 30 core Topix
names were Seven & i Holdings Co Ltd up 1.61%, followed
by Shin-Etsu Chemical Co Ltd rising 1.23%.
The underperformers among the Topix 30 were SoftBank Group
Corp down 3.36%, followed by Recruit Holdings Co Ltd
Nippon Yusen KK rose 6.99% after the marine
shipping company raised its earnings forecasts, which also
lifted the share prices of its rivals.
There were 159 advancers on the Nikkei index against 60
The volume of shares traded on the Tokyo Stock Exchange's
main board was 0.32 billion, compared to the average of
1.26 billion in the past 30 days.
(Reporting by Stanley White
Editing by Shri Navaratnam)