October 31, 2019 / 2:49 AM / a month ago

Nikkei ekes out gains after Fed, but meets resistance

TOKYO, Oct 31 (Reuters) - Japan’s Nikkei edged higher on Thursday after the U.S. Federal Reserve cut interest rates, but the market faced tough resistance as investors were eager to lock in profits after stellar gains this month.

The Nikkei share average rose 0.19% to 22,887.06 points by mid-morning but stayed below a one-year high of 23,008 touched earlier this week, with many investors keen to sell around 23,000.

The broader Topix lost 0.28% to 1,661.27.

The market took cues from gains in Wall Street shares after the Fed cut interest rates as expected.

But some investors were turning cautious as the Fed signalled there would be no further reductions unless the economy soured.

Some Japanese shares got a boost from upbeat earnings.

Sony rose as much as 5.2% to 18-year highs after the company posted estimate-beating record profits for the second quarter thanks to robust sales of image sensors.

System developer SCSK rose 8.4% to 18-year highs on strong earnings while drugmaker Shionogi & Co gained on strong sales of its HIV drugs.

Glass and display maker AGC after its earnings turned out to be less bad than feared.

But others had less luck with semi-conductor making machine maker Advantest, which tumbled 6.5% despite solid earnings. Analysts said a pullback had been inevitable given the stock had risen as much as 66% since its previous quarterly earnings on hopes of a recovery in the semi-conductor sector.

Similarly, manufacturer of 5G telecommunication equipment parts Anritsu fell 4.1% and many other chip-related shares were soft.

Internet service firm Cyberagent fell 10% after its annual profit estimate for the current financial year fell short of analysts’ forecasts.

The market is bracing for an imminent policy announcement from the Bank of Japan.

The Japanese central bank is widely expected to keep its policy on hold. (Reporting by Hideyuki Sano; Editing by Kim Coghill)

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