By Stanley White
TOKYO, April 9 (Reuters) - Japanese shares closed higher on Friday, buoyed by growing expectations that companies will report healthy profits and issue upbeat forecasts as earnings reports start to roll in.
Stocks in Tokyo got off to a bright start, tracking the S&P 500's .SPX record closing high and supportive comments from U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell on Thursday. of industrial robot and semiconductor manufacturing equipment maker Yaskawa Electric Corp 6506.T ended flat ahead of its earnings due later in the day.
Analysts said this could set the tone for Japan's industrial sector, which is expected to benefit from a rebound in global capital expenditure and rising investment to ease a shortage in semiconductors.
"This is just the beginning of the (equities) cycle," said Junichi Inoue, head of Japanese equities at Janus Henderson Investors.
"This is going to be capex-driven and a bigger cycle than previously. Japanese companies are very strong in capital equipment. In general, the machinery sector should benefit."
The stock that gained the most among the top 30 core Topix names was Sony Group Corp 6758.T , up 2.77%. Hitachi Ltd 6501.T rose 2.66%, boosted by reports it was in talks to sell its metals unit. underperformers among the Topix 30 were Seven & i Holdings Co Ltd 3382.T down 2.53%, followed by Itochu Corp 8001.T losing 1.08%.
Looking ahead to next week, one factor that could limit equity gains is the Japanese government's plan to place Tokyo under a new, month-long "quasi-emergency" state to combat surging COVID-19 case numbers, analysts said. were 149 advancers on the Nikkei index against 73 decliners.
The volume of shares traded on the Tokyo Stock Exchange's main board .TOPX was 0.96 billion, compared to the average of 1.38 billion in the past 30 days.
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