Japanese shares jump after two-day declines, chip stocks advance

TOKYO, April 22 (Reuters) - Japanese shares jumped on Thursday as investors scooped up chip-related and cyclical shares following a two-day decline across all sectors, with sentiment aided by an upbeat finish on Wall Street overnight.

The main indexes gained the most in more than seven weeks, with the Nikkei share average jumping 2.38% to close at 29,188.17, while the broader Topix rose 1.82% to 1,922.50.

Concerns about an economic slowdown amid preparations of fresh measures to tackle the spread of the virus eroded about 4% from the Nikkei and 3.5% from the Topix index over the last two days.

“Investors are buying stocks as prices have become reasonable after declines in the past two days,” said Masahiro Ichikawa, chief market strategist at Sumitomo Mitsui DS Asset Management.

“An introduction of a state of emergency makes investors wary, but the number of new infections could fall. That might be factored into today’s market.”

Chip-related shares advanced, with Tokyo Electron gaining 4.58%, Advantest rising 4.2% and Shin-Etsu Chemical climbing 3.45%.

Nidec, known for making precision motors used in computer hard drives, gained 4.49% ahead of its earnings announcement on Thursday. The company is one of the first major manufacturers to disclose outlook in the earnings seasons.

Nidec was the top gainer among the top 30 core Topix names, followed by Keyence Corp.

Shipping firms also advanced, with Kawasaki Kisen rising 5.5% and Mitsui OSK Lines gaining 3.81%.

The underperformers on the Topix 30 were Nintendo, down 0.26%, followed by Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, losing 0.16%.

There were 207 advancers on the Nikkei against 13 decliners. (Reporting by Junko Fujita; Editing by Uttaresh.V and Shounak Dasgupta)