REFILE-Nikkei edges up as mining, refinery stocks gain after oil hits 2019 highs

  • Reuters
  • Stock Market News
REFILE-Nikkei edges up as mining, refinery stocks gain after oil hits 2019 highs
Credit: © Reuters.

(Corrects spelling for refinery in headline)

* Beneficiaries of higher oil prices lead gains

* Nikkei-heavyweight Fast Retailing falls on profit-taking

* Investors await earnings news; Nidec due to report Tuesday

By Tomo Uetake and Ayai Tomisawa

TOKYO, April 23 (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei average ended modestly higher on Tuesday, with oil-related stocks leading the gains after Washington moved to end all Iran sanctions waivers, while recent gainers such as Fast Retailing and Yaskawa Electric dropped on profit-taking.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index .N225 eked out a gain of 0.2 percent to close at 22,259.74 points, not too far from its 4-1/2-month high of 22,345.19 brushed last week.

The mining .IMING.T and oil sectors .IPETE.T , potential beneficiaries of higher oil prices, led the gains, rising 2.5 percent and 1.3 percent, respectively.

Inpex Corp 1605.T jumped 2.8 percent, Japan Petroleum Exploration Co 1662.T rose 1.3 percent, while Idemitsu Kosan 5019.T gained 1.7 percent.

Oil prices were near 2019 highs on Tuesday after Washington announced all Iran sanction waivers would end by May, pressuring importers to stop buying from Tehran. O/R

Traders said that investors had chased cyclical stocks higher over the past few weeks as risk sentiment recovered on better-than-expected Chinese economic data.

However, with Japanese companies releasing their annual results later this week and ahead of the 10-day Golden Week holiday, investors are pocketing profits from recent gainers, they said.

Index-heavyweight Fast Retailing 9983.T dropped 1.8 percent after it hit a record high on Monday and Yaskawa Electric 6506.T tumbled 2.9 percent after the share climbed to its 10 month-highs also on the previous day.

"Caution is rising before the earnings as investors focus on signs on whether Chinese demand is recovering," said Takuya Takahashi, strategist at Daiwa Securities, adding that the market players keenly await Nidec Corp's 6594.T results coming after the market close.

Nidec ended the session down 0.4 percent.

Reflecting investors' defensive stance, domestic-demand sensitive stocks fared better, with utilities, drugmakers and railroad companies gaining ground.

Chubu Electric Power 9502.T rose 1.3 percent, Daiichi Sankyo 4568.T soared 2.6 percent and West Japan Railway 9021.T rose 1.7 percent.

The broader Topix .TOPX added 0.3 percent to 1,622.97.

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