July 4 (Reuters) - Japanese stocks gained on Monday, after
closing near a two-week low in the previous session, supported
by utility companies as the county continues to deal with an
unprecedented heatwave heading into July.
However, investor sentiment remained muted due to fears of a
global economic slowdown.
The Nikkei share average edged up 0.58% to 26,085
after briefly dipping below the psychological 26,000 mark.
The broader Topix gained 1.14% to 1863.67.
U.S. markets are closed on Monday for a holiday, which is
likely to limit trading elsewhere.
Given the lack of factors to encourage buying, the market is
within the range of a rebound from the steep drop seen last
week, said a market participant at a domestic securities firm.
The Nikkei logged a weekly loss of 3.01% on Friday, while
the Topix slipped 2.08%.
Utilities gained 4%, making it the best performing sector on
the Nikkei, with Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc
Technology giant SoftBank Group was up 2.96%, after
posting a weekly drop of more than 6%.
SoftBank-affiliated fund Fortress Investment Group was
reported over the weekend to have offered more than 200 billion
yen ($1.47 billion) to buy Seven & I Holdings'
department store unit Sogo & Seibu.
On the other hand, department store owner J. Front Retailing
Co. Ltd tumbled 5.54% after it released sales data for
its Daimaru and Matsuzakaya stores after Japanese markets closed
KDDI Corp lost 1.79%, falling as much as 3.9% in
volatile early trading, as the mobile operator experienced
widespread network issues over the weekend.
(Reporting by Sam Byford and Tokyo markets team; Editing by Amy