for-phone-onlyfor-tablet-portrait-upfor-tablet-landscape-upfor-desktop-upfor-wide-desktop-up

Japanese shares inch higher as chipmakers track overnight gains in U.S. peers

TOKYO, May 20 (Reuters) - Japanese shares erased early losses on Thursday, led by chipmakers tracking overnight gains by U.S. peers, but investors refrained from making active bets awaiting fresh cues after most companies announced their earnings.

The Nikkei share average edged up 0.07% to 28,063.39 by 0201 GMT, after losing as much as 0.8% earlier in the session, while the broader Topix was down 0.18% to 1,898.64.

“The Japanese market does not have its own reasons for a movement right now after most of corporate outlook is out,” said Takatoshi Itoshima, strategist at Pictet Asset Management.

“While there are uncertainties surrounding Japan that weigh on sentiment, such as slow rollouts of vaccines and whether and how the Olympics will be held.”

U.S. main indexes closed lower overnight, however, Japanese chip related firms tracked the Philadelphia Semiconductor index’s higher, with Tokyo Electron rising 1.58% and Advantest jumping 2.63%.

Index heavyweight Fast Retailing lost 0.94% after a report said that its Uniqlo brand shirts were blocked at the United States border in January on concerns they violated a ban on cotton products produced in the Xinjiang region of China.

Its rival Ryohin Keikaku, the operator of the Muji brand casual goods stores, also fell 1.47%.

Taiyo Yuden, up 4.68%, was the largest percentage gainer on the Nikkei, followed by Credit Saison gaining 3.99 % and Alps Alpine, which rose 3.29%.

Steel makers, which gained sharply in the past month, dropped, with JFE Holdings Inc falling 4.57% and Nippon Steel losing 4.85%.

The Mothers Index of start-up firm shares gained 0.27%.

Reporting by Junko Fujita; Editing by Rashmi Aich

for-phone-onlyfor-tablet-portrait-upfor-tablet-landscape-upfor-desktop-upfor-wide-desktop-up