Japanese shares breach key level on retail boost


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TOKYO — Japanese stocks rose on Wednesday, buoyed by retail companies, as the market tracked positive sentiment in global peers on the prospect that central banks are likely to temper their aggressive tightening policies.

The Nikkei share average rose as much as 0.81% and shot through the 27,000 psychological barrier. The benchmark pared early gains to trade up 0.35% at 27,085.97.

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The broader Topix index gained 0.3%.

“It looks like a wait-and-see attitude is becoming more prevalent ahead of the ADP jobs report in the US this evening,” said a market analyst at a domestic securities firm.

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Fast Retailing Co Ltd rose 1.13% and had the biggest positive impact on the Nikkei after announcing an 11% year-on-year sales increase at domestic Uniqlo stores. The number of customers declined by 2.9%, but average spend was up 14.4% due to price increases and stronger sales of fall/winter items.

Shares of ABC-Mart Inc rose on strong September figures, gaining 4.01% off a year-on-year sales increase of 18.1%. The footwear and sporting goods retailer is expected to get a boost from the upcoming World Cup.

Retail company Arclands Corp jumped 10.53% after a regulatory filing revealed that a fund linked to activist investor Yoshiaki Murakami had taken a 5.06% ownership stake.

Toyo Engineering Corp rose 1.38% and Mitsubishi Corp climbed 0.26% after Alaska Gasline Development Corporation said it would work with both the companies to study the possibility of producing ammonia in the state.

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Although every sector on the Nikkei advanced, the index’s gains were muted in comparison with its peers, many of which rose after a smaller-than-expected rate hike from the Reserve Bank of Australia and soft US jobs data.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 2.26% in early trading, while the S&P 500 index and the Nasdaq 100 each gained more than 3% overnight.

Of the Nikkei’s 225 constituents, 174 advanced, 41 declined, and 10 traded flat.

Nippon Sheet Glass Co Ltd made the biggest loss, falling 2.41%. (Reporting by Sam Byford and Tokyo markets team; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)

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