Japanese stocks rose moderately on Friday, boosted by news of steady but unspectacular economic growth. The Nikkei 225 ended the day up 0.5 per cent at 14,155.06. The Topix rose 0.7 per cent to 1,494.56.

The Japanese stock market appeared on Friday to return to its regular pattern after some dramatic shifts earlier in the week. Domestically-focused stocks resumed their position as the main upward drivers of the market, with more export-focused stocks, such as the technology sectors, either flat or showing only moderate growth.

Foreign investors have been major investors this year in domestically-focused stocks, responding to signs that the Japanese economy is improving. Friday’s figures showed a 0.4 per cent quarter-on-quarter rise in gross domestic product, despite a negative contribution from overseas trade.

Among the domestic sectors, securities leapt 4.5 per cent and real estate jumped 3.4 per cent. Nomura Holdings, Japan’s biggest brokerage, rose 4.5 per cent to Y2,040. Daiwa Securities, its biggest rival, more than made up Thursday’s losses, rising 7.2 per cent to Y1,064. It was boosted in particular by JPMorgan’s decision to raise its rating to “overweight” from “neutral”. JPMorgan said the share price was undervalued compared with competitors.

Mitsui Fudosan, the country’s biggest real estate company, was up 4.4 per cent at Y2,015.

Mizuho, the country’s second biggest banking group, rose 1.4 per cent to Y846,000, after announcing a 41 per cent rise in first-half profit. Mizuho cited strong revenues.

Softbank, the internet company, climbed 2.5 per cent to Y7,300 after announcing a return to profitability in the latest quarter. Softbank cited cuts in marketing costs.

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