TOKYO, April 19 (Reuters) - Japanese stocks edged higher on
Monday as some investors hoped to benefit from an expected
increase in semiconductor production, but worries about rising
coronavirus infections capped gains.
The Nikkei 225 Index rose 0.16% to 29,731.15 by 0201
GMT, while the broader Topix rose 0.04% to 1,961.58.
Stocks opened lower but gradually erased their losses in
Japan and the United States agreed last week to cooperate on
investment in semiconductor supply chains in response to a
global shortage of chips, which is seen as a positive for
Japanese chemical and industrial companies, analysts said.
However, Japanese stocks still face downside risks as the
governor of Tokyo is considering another state of emergency in
response to a steady increase in coronavirus infections.
Japan's slow pace of vaccinations is also a negative factor
for stock prices, analysts said.
"Markets in the United States and Europe are racing ahead,
but Japanese stocks are being left behind," said Norihiro
Fujito, chief investment strategist, Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan
"The difference is investors are linking vaccinations to the
economic outlook. Industries that were damaged by the
coronavirus last year will come under pressure again."
The stocks that gained the most among the top 30 core Topix
names were Shin-Etsu Chemical Co Ltd up 1.87%, followed
by Murata Manufacturing Co Ltd up 1.57%.
The underperformers among the Topix 30 were Nintendo Co Ltd
down 1.89%, followed by Central Japan Railway Co
Toshiba Corp fell 4.02% after the Nikkei reported
that private equity firm CVC Capital Partners will delay
submitting a formal proposal to buy the Japanese industrial
There were 103 advancers on the Nikkei index against 113
The volume of shares traded on the Tokyo Stock Exchange's
main board was 0.39 billion, compared to the average of
1.31 billion in the past 30 days.
(Reporting by Stanley White; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)