TOKYO, July 19 (Reuters) - Japanese stocks extended gains on
Tuesday, though performances were modest with investors
reluctant to make big moves ahead of this week's Bank of Japan
policy meeting, despite lowered estimates for aggressive
tightening by the U.S. Federal Reserve.
The Nikkei share average started trade 0.8% higher
to break through the psychological barrier of 27,000 before
finishing at 26,961.68 as markets closed up 0.65% for the day.
The broader Topix gained 0.54%.
"The level 27,000 seems to have become the key barrier,"
said a market participant at a domestic securities firm. "We'd
like to see new market factors to help decisively break through
Of the Nikkei's 225 components, 171 made gains, 52 made
losses, and two traded flat.
European stock index futures were down ahead of markets
opening, with FTSE 100 futures dropping 0.38% and Euro
STOXX 50 dipping 0.60%.
Shares of Japanese heavy industries were some of the strong
performers, buoyed by a report over the weekend that Prime
Minister Fumio Kishida's government won't set a ceiling on
defence spending in the next annual budget.
Kawasaki Heavy Industries Ltd rose 5.22%, and
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd was up 2.5%.
Even as shares of Apple Inc made losses overnight
following a Bloomberg report that the company planned to slow
hiring over the next year, Japanese suppliers didn't appear to
be broadly affected.
Sony Group Corp, Apple's primary image sensor
supplier, gained 2.32%. Components makers Murata Manufacturing
Co Ltd and Taiyo Yuden Co Ltd were up 0.24%
and 1.1%, respectively.
Utilities companies weighed in the Nikkei, with the sector
down 1.36% overall.
Kansai Electric Power Co Inc lost 2.78%, and Tokyo
Electric Power Co Holdings Inc was down 2.38%.
Video game maker Nintendo fell 2.50% to wipe out
gains made on Friday, when its share price jumped 2.33% on the
news that it was buying an animation studio.
(Reporting by Sam Byford and Tokyo markets team; Editing by