Tokyo: Shares end little changed; recession fears stoke volatility

JAPANESE stocks closed flat on Thursday (Jun 23), after a topsy-turvy day of trading that saw the possibility of a recession weigh on investors' minds.

The Nikkei share average was up 0.08 per cent at 26,171.25 when markets closed, continuing to trade above the psychological 26,000 mark after having dipped as low as 25,520.23 on Monday.

Of the Nikkei's 225 components 106 made gains, while 116 lost value and 3 were flat.

The broader Topix index fell 0.05 per cent to 1,851.74.

"When global markets are facing rate increases and recession, Japan is positioned differently," said Shuji Hosoi, senior strategist at Daiwa Securities.

"The Bank of Japan decided to keep its monetary policy unchanged, and the economic activities have started picking up since the Covid-19 restrictions were lifted."

But others had a murkier outlook.

"There is a strong sense of caution about an economic slowdown caused by tighter monetary policy in the US," said a market participant at a domestic securities company this morning.

Toshiba shares closed up 3.54 per cent at 5,696 yen following a Reuters report overnight that bidders are preparing a takeover offer that would value the troubled conglomerate at 7,000 yen a share, or about US$22 billion.

The Nikkei's best-performing sector was utilities, up 1.14 per cent overall. Basic materials firms dragged on the index, losing 2.63 per cent.

Tokio Marine was the Nikkei's top individual performer today, gaining 2.61 per cent. Nippon Sheet Glass and real estate company Tokyo Tatemono both gained 2.60 per cent.

Beverage manufacturers Sapporo, Asahi Group and Kirin all saw gains of 2.60 per cent, 2.34 per cent and 1.27 per cent, respectively.

The worst performing stock on the Nikkei was Sumitomo Metal Mining, which lost 6 per cent. REUTERS

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