Improved tourist data lifts Japanese cosmetics stocks but Nikkei flat

  • Reuters
  • Stock Market News
Improved tourist data lifts Japanese cosmetics stocks but Nikkei flat
Credit: © Reuters.

* MUFG tumbles after report U.S. investigates bank

* For the week, Nikkei has fallen 0.8 pct

* Black Friday, G20 focused

By Ayai Tomisawa

TOKYO, Nov 22 (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei share index was little changed on Thursday as investors stayed on the sidelines before a three-day weekend, but companies linked to inbound tourism demand rose after data showed a rebound in visitors in October.

The Nikkei .N225 was flat at 21,508.41 points by midmorning, after opening a tad higher.

Companies such as cosmetics makers which benefit from tourist spending attracted buyers after the Japan National Tourism Organization reported that October numbers rose 1.8 percent on-year to 2.646 million after dropping in the previous two months.

Shiseido Co 4911.T gained 3.6 percent, Kose Corp 4922.T added 3 percent. Drugstore Matsumotokiyoshi 3088.T advanced 1.9 percent.

For the week, the Nikkei has shed 0.8 percent so far.

Japanese markets will be closed on Friday due to a national holiday, with investors carefully awaiting the outcome of Black Friday sales that follow Thursday's U.S. Thanksgiving Day holiday, at a time when wages are rising and consumer confidence is high in the United States.

"Investors will be talking about that on Monday as it will be a good indication for U.S. consumer spending which will likely contribute to setting the direction of the stock market early next week," said Norihiro Fujito, chief investment strategist at Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS ) Securities.

He said markets also remain tense before a meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the G20 leaders' summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina which starts on Nov. 30.

Defensive stocks such as railway stocks, real estate firms and food processors outperformed. Central Japan Railway 9022.T added 1.2 percent, Mitsubishi Estate Co 8802.T gained 1.5 percent and Ajinomoto Co 2802.T rose 1.0 percent.

Elsewhere, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group 8306.T tumbled nearly 3 percent to a level not seen since early July after the New York Times reported that U.S. prosecutors are investigating the systems that the bank uses to track money laundering. broader Topix .TOPX was flat at 1,615.56.

(Editing by Kim Coghill)

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