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Nikkei tracks Nasdaq's solid finish overnight, Toyota drags Topix

TOKYO, June 18 (Reuters) - Japan’s benchmark Nikkei inched up on Friday as technology stocks tracked a strong finish on the tech-heavy Nasdaq index, while the broader Topix index fell after Toyota Motor retreated from its record high.

The Nikkei share average rose 0.33% by 0209 GMT, while the broader Topix inched down 0.17% to 1,960.11.

The Nasdaq ended 13 points short of its record finish earlier this week, but it was still the index’s second-highest close ever, adding 121.67 points, or 0.87%, to 14,161.35.

“The market has been unsettled all week and it will be difficult to decide how to allocate money going forward as the direction of the U.S. rates remain unclear,” said Soichiro Matsumoto, chief investment officer Japan at Credit Suisse Private Banking.

Back home, Japan may hold the Olympics with spectators despite opposition from medical experts, raising concerns that the Summer Games could spark another surge in COVID-19 infections.

The president of the Tokyo 2020 organising committee wants to allow up to 10,000 spectators for Olympic stadiums, local media reported.

“The Olympics is making the Japanese market’s outlook unclear, which is why the market has failed to catch up with those in the U.S. and Europe,” Matsumoto said.

Eisai surged 10.26% after the drug maker and Bristol-Myers Squibb entered into an agreement worth up to $3.10 billion to jointly develop and market an experimental cancer drug.

Medical platform services firm M3 jumped 2.88% and medical equipment maker Terumo rose 2.81%.

Chip-related shares advanced, with Tokyo Electron gaining 1.22% and Advantest rising 2.18%.

Toyota Motor fell 2.92% after hitting its record high this week.

Nidec Corp, up 4.5%, gained the most among the top 30 core Topix names, followed by Hoya Corp.

Mitsui & Co Ltd, down 2.96%, was the worst performer among the Topix 30, followed by Toyota Motor. (Reporting by Junko Fujita; editing by Uttaresh.V)

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