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Japan’s Nikkei inches higher on Fast Retailing, tech shares boost

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TOKYO — Japan’s Nikkei index edged higher on Monday, led by Uniqlo brand owner Fast Retailing and heavyweight technology stocks.

The Nikkei share average was up 0.11% at 27,808.74 by the midday break, while the broader Topix lost 0.5% to 1,944.21.

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“Today’s market showed little direction as U.S. jobs data did not become a market-moving catalyst. But investors have a fresh view on heavyweight technology stocks, which underpinned the Nikkei,” said Shoichi Arisawa, general manager of the investment research department at IwaiCosmo Securities.

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The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite ended slightly lower, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average edged higher on Friday, as the November payrolls report fueled expectations the Federal Reserve would maintain its path of interest rate hikes to combat inflation.

In Japan, Fast Retailing rose 3.8% and gave the biggest boost to the Nikkei after the clothing store operator last week said average purchases per customer rose 6.5% in November.

Chip-making equipment maker Tokyo Electron edged up 0.6% and air-conditioning maker Daikin Industries gained 0.45%.

The banking sector lost 1.06%, amid declines in U.S. Treasury yields, with Resona Holdings falling 3.86% to become the biggest loser on the Nikkei.

Robot maker Fanuc rose 2.44% and became the biggest support to the Topix.

Toyota Motor fell 1.07% and was the biggest drag on the Topix. Nissan Motor lost 2.93% and Mitsubishi Motors fell 2.55%.

The auto sector dropped 1.14%. (Reporting by Junko Fujita; editing by Uttaresh.V)

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