Tokyo stocks close flat retrieving some losses

Tokyo: Tokyo stocks closed flat on Friday, retrieving some earlier losses as traders cheered strong China data.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index closed down just 0.02 percent, or 4.35 points, at 22,865.15. The index gained 1.17 percent over the week.

The broader Topix index ended down 0.22 percent or 3.79 points at 1,735.35. It rose 1.53 percent over the week.

China’s factory activity ticked marginally upward in August, official data showed on Friday, beating analyst forecasts that expected the trade war with the US to weigh more heavily on manufacturing.

The Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), a key gauge of factory conditions, came in at 51.3 for the month, the National Bureau of Statistics said, beating the 51.0 reading tipped in a Bloomberg News survey of economists.

“Worries over the Chinese economic slowdown receded” after the better-than-expected PMI reading, “prompting bargain-hunting purchases,” said Yoshihiro Ito, chief strategist at Okasan Online Securities.

Tokyo stocks opened lower on the day due to a stronger yen, which rose after a report about potential US tariffs on China reheated trade war fears.

The Japanese indices rebounded into positive territory at one point, after the China PMI was released but ended up broadly level as traders squared positions into the weekend.

The dollar fetched 110.95 yen in late Tokyo hours, down from 111.01 yen in New York late Thursday.

Chip-testing device manufacturer Advantest, which opened down in early hours, ended up 0.49 percent at 2,664 yen, while market heavyweight and Uniqlo casual wear operator Fast Retailing was up 0.71 percent at 51,810 yen.

Pharmaceuticals also gained, with Takeda Pharmaceutical ending 1.15 percent higher at 4,653 yen and Daiichi Sankyo edged up 0.62 percent to 4,338 yen.