October 25, 2019 / 3:43 AM / 20 days ago

Nikkei steady, holds near 1-year high; chip-related shares jump

TOKYO, Oct 25 (Reuters) - Japan’s benchmark Nikkei share average was steady, hovering near its one-year peak on Friday as some positive earnings from overseas tech companies offset growth concerns, with semiconductor-related stocks leading the gainers.

The Nikkei average was virtually flat at 21,747.08 by the midday break, after climbing to as high as 22,819.92, its highest level since Oct. 18 of last year. For the week, it was up 1.1% and was on track for a third consecutive weekly gain.

The broader Topix also was little moved at 1,644.23, just a whisker away from its 10-1/2-month peak marked the previous day.

Semiconductor-related stocks were the highlight of the morning after Intel beat Wall Street estimates for third-quarter revenue and profit and raised its full-year revenue forecast overnight, easing concerns about slowing demand.

Lam Research was the top boost to the Philadelphia SE Semiconductor index, which rose 2.5% a day in New York trading, after the chip equipment maker forecast strong results for the December quarter.

In Tokyo, the Nikkei heavyweight Tokyo Electron and Screen Holdings climbed 2.3% and 2.1%, respectively. Disco also soared 9.6% even after the chipmaking equipment firm reported weak earnings results for the April-Sept period, as analysts say the downturn in orders may bottom out next year.

Eisai enjoyed its stellar run of the past two days, surging 8.2%, after reaching its daily limit-high on Wednesday and Thursday, as the Japanese drugmaker agreed with its U.S. partner Biogen to revive plans to seek U.S. approval for an Alzheimer’s treatment. (Reporting by Tomo Uetake; Editing by Shri Navaratnam)

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