Japan's Topix rises on cyclicals boost, weak chip shares cap gains

TOKYO, March 25 (Reuters) – Japan’s Topix was set to snap a three-day losing streak on Thursday, as investors scooped up beaten-down cyclical stocks, although gains were capped by chip-related shares that tracked the Nasdaq lower.

The broader Topix rose 0.91% to 1,946.16 by 0150 GMT, while the Nikkei 225 Index gained 0.33% to 28,499.42.

“There were a lot of pessimistic news that prompted investors to sell cyclical shares (yesterday). They are buying back those today,” Shoichi Arisawa, general manager of the investment research department at IwaiCosmo Securities.

Banking stocks led the gains on Topix, with Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group rising 2.13% and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group jumping 2.53%. Mizuho Financial Group gained 2.41%>

Toyota Motor edged up 0.43% after the automaker revived a partnership with Isuzu Motor to boost their competitive edge in connected, commercial vehicles, with Toyota’s truck unit Hino Motors Ltd joining in the pact.

Isuzu fell 1.01%, while Hino slumped 6.59% following a surge on the news on Wednesday, making it the biggest loser on the Nikkei index.

Chip-related shares fell, with Advantest losing 2.78% and Tokyo Electron losing 2.76%. They tracked a weak show by the Nasdaq overnight.

Tech investor SoftBank Group fell 3.14%.

All but three of the 33 sector sub-indexes on the Tokyo exchange traded higher, with highly cyclical material sectors being among the top gainers on the main bourse. The stocks that gained the most among the top 30 core Topix names were Fanuc Corp up 2.88%, followed by Hitachi , rising 2.62%.

The largest percentage gainers in the Nikkei index were Mitsui Mining and Smelting Co Ltd up 4.99%, followed by Konica Minolta, gaining 4.45 % and Aozora Bank up 4.35%.

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