Tokyo stocks end higher despite lacklustre GDP

TOKYO (AFP): Tokyo shares ended higher on Tuesday following Wall Street gains, despite a lacklustre Japanese GDP report and a wait-and-see mood ahead of US consumer price data.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index gained 0.64 percent, or 175.45 points, to end at 27,602.77, while the broader Topix index rose 0.78 percent, or 15.42 points, to 1,993.09.

The dollar stood at 131.89 yen, against 132.39 yen in New York on Monday.
Japanese traders initially took heart from Wall Street, where stocks rallied ahead of key inflation data that will influence US monetary policy.

But gains gradually slowed with more investors opting to straddle the fence before sizing up the US consumer price index for January, to be released later on Tuesday.
“The waiting game goes on as investors jockey for positions ahead of US inflation data,” said Stephen Innes of SPI Asset Management.

Further “chilling the sentiment” of Japanese investors, IwaiCosmo Securities said, was the Tuesday release of government data that showed Japan’s economy grew just 0.2 percent in the last quarter of 2022.

It was a smaller rebound than expected, even after Japan’s much-awaited opening to tourists, falling shy of the 0.5 percent growth forecast by analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.

Among major shares in Tokyo, SoftBank Group grew 0.65 percent to 5,850 yen, Sony Group added 0.59 percent to 11,780 yen and Toyota was up 0.31 percent to 1,882.5 yen.
Uniqlo operator Fast Retailing firmed 1.04 percent to 81,540 yen.