Stocks seen top-heavy this week amid shortage of buying incentives

Jiji Press TOKYO (Jiji Press) — Investors are likely to pay attention to the Tokyo market’s top-heaviness this week, with few powerful buying incentives in sight, according to market sources.

Last week, the 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average gained 63.06 points, or 0.29 percent, to end at 21,870.56 on Friday, hitting the highest level since Dec. 5. For most of the week, the Nikkei struggled for direction amid a dearth of major trading incentives.

On Friday, the key market gauge closed nearly 160 points higher, thanks chiefly to heavily weighted component Fast Retailing’s powerful advance.

The TOPIX index of all First Section issues lost ground for five straight sessions until Friday.

The Nikkei is expected to move between 21,500 and 22,000 this week, the sources said.

Japanese stocks “are expected to show directionless movements in the absence of domestic incentives,” said Ryuta Otsuka, strategist at the investment information department of Toyo Securities Co. The market would continuously be vulnerable to overseas events, he added.

Japan and the United States are scheduled to kick off the first round of bilateral trade negotiations in Washington for two days from Monday.

“Players are likely to hold in check purchases of automakers and other export-oriented names” to see the outcome of the trade talks, an official of a midsize securities firm noted.

Masahiro Ichikawa, senior strategist at Sumitomo Mitsui DS Asset Management Co., said that Japanese shares “are believed to show little movement” ahead of the 10-day holiday in Japan starting April 27.

According to Ichikawa, the Nikkei would have difficulty ending above 22,000, as selling to cash in gains is expected to grow before the long holiday even if rosy earnings reports are released by major U.S. and Japanese companies.Speech

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