TOKYO, Jan 13 (Reuters) - Japan’s benchmark Nikkei stock average extended its bull run to a fifth straight session on Wednesday and hit a 30-year high, with semiconductor shares leading the gains on expectations of strong demand recovery in the industry.
Nikkei share average gained 1.04% to 28,456.59, its highest finish since 1990. The broader Topix edged up 0.35% to 1,864.40, also marking a five-day winning streak.
Chip-related shares were at the driving seat, with Tokyo Electron rising 5.3% and Advantest gaining 5.5%, on the back of sharp gains in U.S. peers such as Lam Research and Applied Materials.
Renesas Electronics rose 4.7% to bring its gains so far this week to more than 10%.
While semiconductor-related shares have benefited from virus lockdowns, they have gained additional boost from an increase in demand for chips for cars, said Norihiro Fujito, chief investment strategist at Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley.
“Investors are buying chip device manufacturing shares globally due to an unexpected recovery in demand for cars,” Fujito said.
Electrical equipment maker Yaskawa Electric rose 4.4% after it raised its operating profit forecast on healthy demand for chips and electronic components in China.
On the other hand, a shortage of chips for cars is starting to weigh on automaker shares.
Chip shortage had forced Japan’s largest automaker to cut production of its Tundra pickup truck at its San Antonio plant in Texas.
Toyota Motor dropped 0.6%, while Nissan Motor fell 2.2% and Suzuki Motor lost 2.1%.
Seven & I Holdings ended flat despite a positive earnings outlook.
Toho Co, the film distributor of “Demon Slayer”, plunged 6.7% after it raised its profit forecast on the success of the animated film, which shattered a box-office record in Japan, with investors taking profits on the news. (Reporting by Junko Fujita; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)
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