Japan’s Nikkei supported by chips and airlines but held back by energy cap gain

TOKYO, July 13 (Reuters) – Japan’s Nikkei stock average rebounded on Wednesday, lifted by chip-related stocks and airlines, but gains were capped by a sharp drop in energy stocks, crude oil falling amid concerns about the global economy.

The Nikkei stock average added 0.33% to 26,423.11 at the midday break, after slipping 1.77% in the previous session, its worst day in a month.

Of the 225 stocks making up the benchmark, 166 gained versus 53 fell, including six flat.

The broader Topix rose 0.23%, recovering some of Tuesday’s 1.64% decline.

However, concerns persisted about the outlook for global growth amid heightened uncertainty over Europe’s energy crisis and China’s renewed struggle to control COVID-19 outbreaks with its draconian zero-COVID policies.

The market’s immediate focus is on U.S. consumer price data, due later Wednesday, which will show how effective the Federal Reserve has been tightening so far, and potentially how much more might be needed.

“There is a feeling that the Nikkei has gotten cheap, but with so much uncertainty about the global economic outlook, it’s very difficult to buy stocks aggressively,” said a market participant at a trading company. national securities.

Demand concerns sent crude oil down $100 on Wednesday, making energy the Nikkei’s worst-performing sector, slipping 1.5%.

Petrochemical company JGC Holdings was the biggest drop in the benchmark, falling 3.56%.

At the other end, chip-making equipment maker Tokyo Electron rose 0.89%, enough to be the biggest points gainer, contributing 15.5 points to the Nikkei’s rise.

Overnight on Wall Street, the Philadephia SE Semiconductor Index gained 0.18%, even as software companies dragged the Nasdaq down 0.97%.

Strong gains for American Airlines on a revised second-quarter revenue forecast carried the wind under Japanese peers ANA Holdings and Japan Airlines, which rose 1.55% and 1.84%, respectively.

SoftBank Group jumped 1.8% as sources said it was in talks with Abu Dhabi’s sovereign wealth fund to sell Fortress Investment Group.

Automakers rose, with the yen near a 24-year low against the dollar, boosting the value of overseas sales. Toyota added 0.76%, Nissan rose 0.47%, while Honda jumped 2.67%.

Toho was the biggest percentage gainer, climbing 6.95% after the film producer posted a big profit boost on some big hits, including a new image of Ultraman. (Reporting by Tokyo Markets Team; Editing by Krishna Chandra Eluri)