Oil and Gas

Tokyo shares end at 4-1/2-month high, energy sector up

TOKYO, Sept 17 (Reuters) - Japan’s Nikkei share average inched up to a 4-1/2-month closing high on Tuesday, as soaring oil prices triggered by attacks on Saudi crude facilities boosted oil and gas-related companies.

The benchmark Nikkei average rose 0.1% to 22,001.32, its highest close since April 26, marking the 10th consecutive day of gains and the longest rally since October 2017.

The broader Topix gained 0.3% to 1,614.58, also its highest finish in 4-1/2 months.

Market players said risk appetite had not been affected in spite of Saturday’s attack on Saudi oil facilities.

Oil and gas-related companies led gains, with mining and oil & coal products the top two performing subsectors on Tokyo’s main bourse, jumping 9.0% and 4.5%, respectively.

Japan’s biggest oil and gas developer Inpex Corp surged 9.7% and global engineering company JGC Corp climbed 5.6%.

On the flip side, airlines and shippers - vulnerable to rising crude oil costs - were the worst two performing sectors, declining 1.7% and 1.3%, respectively.

Oil ended nearly 15% higher on Monday, with Brent logging its biggest jump in over 30 years amid record trading volumes, after the weekend attacks cut Saudi Arabia’s production in half and fanned fears of retaliation in the Middle East.

Nikkei heavyweight SoftBank Group shed 3.0% after an office-sharing firm it backs delayed a planned listing.

WeWork owner, The We Company, said it expected to complete its initial public offering by the end of the year, after walking away from preparations earlier in the day to proceed with its stock market debut this month. SBG is the biggest backer of The We Company.

Investors broadly remained on the sidelines ahead of key policy decisions by the U.S. Federal Reserve on Wednesday and the Bank of Japan on Thursday.

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Monday that the United States has reached initial trade agreements with Japan on tariff barriers and digital trade, also supporting sentiment in the Tokyo share market. (Editing by Jacqueline Wong)