Tokyo shares closed slighter higher on Thursday, helped by gains in the steel sector, despite lacklustre trading as many investors in the US stayed on the sidelines to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday.
The benchmark Nikkei 225 average was up 0.3 per cent at 10,900.34, while the broader Topix index was up 0.3 per cent at 1,094.45.
Shares of Japan’s biggest exporters were mostly lower, after the yen hit a four-and-a -half year high of Y102.58 against the dollar in New York trade. It slipped slightly in early Asian trade and was hovering at Y102.9.
Shares of Sony were down 0.5 per cent at Y3,690 while Canon was down one per cent at Y5,110. Fujitsu lost 0.6 per cent to Y643 0.8 per cent to Y642.
Shares of Nissan fell 0.4 per cent to Y1,082, after the carmaker said it would have to halt operations at three of its four domestic plants for four days, due to a shortage of steel.
Nissan procures most of its steel from Nippon Steel, Japan’s leading steelmaker, and JFE , both of which have been operating at full capacity amid robust demand from both domestic firms and those based in China.
Shares of Nippon Steel were up 2.5 per cent at Y247, while JFE was up 4.2 per cent at Y2,865. Meanwhile, shares of Kobe Steel, Japan’s fourth-largest steelmaker, were up 4.1 per cent at Y152.