TOKYO: Tokyo stocks advanced Monday in thin Christmas trading, following gains by US tech shares last week.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index added 0.26 percent, or 84.98 points, to 33,254.03, while the broader Topix index edged up 0.04 percent, or 0.97 points, to 2,337.40.

While trading slowed heading into Christmas, global investors generally continued to buy shares in the belief that the US economy will achieve a “soft landing” and that the Federal Reserve may turn to rate cuts in the coming year, Nomura Securities said.

Many markets were expected to stay quiet over the Christmas holiday period, with stock markets throughout most of Asia closed on Monday.

Some players may be looking for an opportune time to sell stocks, as US shares have gained steadily in recent weeks, Nomura added.

High-tech shares attracted buyers after the Nasdaq advanced last week, while players also cheered the forex market regaining relative calm, IwaiCosmo Securities said.

“The market opened higher in the morning, but it gradually came to face selling pressure as investors sold their shares to adjust positions with only a limited number of participants,” the brokerage said.

The relative strength of Shanghai shares provided support for Tokyo shares, it added. The Shanghai Composite Index shed earlier losses and ended up 0.14 percent or 4.04 points to 2,918.81. The Taiwan Weighted Index edged up 0.05 percent, or 8.21 points, to 17,604.84.

Among major Tokyo shares, Toyota added 0.83 percent to 2,537 yen. SoftBank Group rose 1.25 percent to 6,099 yen. Sony Group added 1.04 percent to 13,120 yen.

Nintendo gave up earlier gains and fell 0.17 percent to 6,934 yen. Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group also lost 0.74 percent to 1,207 yen.

Energy developer Inpex rose 0.29 percent to 1,934 yen.

Uniqlo operator Fast Retailing firmed 0.62 percent to 35,830 yen.


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