Nikkei edges up, central bank ETF-buying seen offsetting weakness in machinery makers

  • Reuters
  • Stock Market News
Nikkei edges up, central bank ETF-buying seen offsetting weakness in machinery makers
Credit: © Reuters.

TOKYO, March 15 (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei share average eked out small gains on Thursday with traders noting the Bank of Japan bought up exchange traded funds, offsetting weakness in machinery makers.

The Nikkei .N225 ended 0.1 percent higher at 21,803.95, crawling back from negative territory after ending the morning session lower.

Retail stocks gained ground, with FamilyMart 8028.T rising 1.9 percent, and Marui 8252.T soaring 7.3 percent.

Japan's construction machinery and machine tool makers underperformed, hit by worries that global trade tensions could hurt demand after U.S. President Donald Trump sought to impose fresh tariffs on China.

The Trump administration is pressing China to cut its trade surplus with the United States by $100 billion, the White House said on Wednesday. said that Trump's demands could cut Chinese exports and capital expenditure potentially sapping demand for machinery made by Japanese firms, many of which have substantial sales in China.

Construction machinery maker Komatsu Ltd 6301.T dropped 1.7 percent and Hitachi Construction Machinery 6305.T stumbled 3.1 percent.

Axle bearings maker NTN Corp 6472.T tumbled 3.2 percent, machine tool maker DMG Mori 6141.T dropped 1.5 percent, while and Okuma Corp 6103.T , a maker of numerically-controlled machine tools, fell 1.5 percent.

Shippers .ISHIP.T dipped after the Baltic Dry Index .BADI of freight charges fell. Mitsui OSK Lines 9104.T dropped 0.8 percent and Kawasaki Kisen 9107.T fell 1.2 percent.

The broader Topix index .TOPX was flat at 1,743.60.

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