October 9, 2015 / 5:50 AM / 4 years ago

Nikkei extends gains as commodities and materials continue rebound

TOKYO, Oct 9 (Reuters) - Japanese stocks extended gains in late afternoon trading on Friday as commodities and materials continued to rebound, with expectations the U.S. Federal Reserve might raise interest rates this year further eroded by minutes from the Fed’s September meeting.

The Nikkei share average rose 1.6 percent to 18,422.51 in late afternoon trading.

Market participants said investors continued to shift out of retail and inbound tourism-related shares and into cyclicals and commodities.

Index heavyweight Fast Retailing tumbled 9.8 percent after it missed its annual profit target, dragging down the retail sector.

The Topix subindex for iron and steel gained 4.9 percent late afternoon trading after Bank of America Merrill Lynch raised its ratings on Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corp and Kobe Steel to “buy” from “neutral.”

The broader Topix gained 2.1 percent to 1,512.84 in late afternoon trading with all but two of its 33 subindexes in positive territory. The JPX-Nikkei Index 400 climbed 2.3 percent to 13,568.94.

Reporting by Joshua Hunt and Ayai Tomisawa; Editing by Eric Meijer

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