TOKYO — Japanese shares hit a seven-week high on Wednesday, though gains were limited amid a slide in U.S. futures as domestic investors weighed unexpected weak earnings from technology giants Alphabet Inc and Microsoft Corp after market close.
Japan’s Nikkei share average rose 1.20% to climb above 27,500, its highest level since Sept. 20. At the break, the benchmark was at 27,577.15, on course for a third day of gains.
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The broader Topix index climbed 0.95%.
“The Nikkei has been steadily advancing and there seem to be a lot of people who want to take profits,” said Ryuta Otsuka, a strategist at Toyo Securities.
“As Japanese companies are starting to report earnings, many domestic investors and others want to see the results, so they’re likely to hold off on aggressive trading,” he said.
While the Philadelphia semiconductor index rose 2.26% overnight, Nasdaq e-mini futures were down 1.92%, falling after earnings from Microsoft Corp and Google parent Alphabet Inc came in below Wall Street expectations.
The lackluster results pushed S&P 500 emini futures down almost 1%, suggesting traders expect the U.S. stock market to open deep in negative territory on Wednesday.
Risk sentiment was dampened amid Japanese semiconductor stocks as well, with chipmaking equipment maker Tokyo Electron Inc falling nearly 2%, even though it recouped some losses to trade higher.
Peer Disco Corp fell 0.87% while chipmaker Renesas Electronics Corp was down 0.4%.
“Tokyo Electron and others seem to have been affected [by Alphabet and Microsoft],” said Toyo’s Otsuka. “If hypergrowth stocks are still adjusting, the negative difference in high-tech stocks may well affect the Nikkei share average.”
The best performer in the Nikkei index was Denka Co Ltd , which jumped 7.14%, after the chemical products manufacturer announced results and its plans to transfer its cement business to Taiheiyo Cement Corp.
Shipping companies Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha Ltd and Mitsui O.S.K. Lines Ltd made the biggest losses, falling 2.97% and 2.73%, respectively.
All of Nikkei’s sectors gained except energy, which declined 0.43%. Of the index’s 225 constituents, 167 advanced, 54 fell, and four traded flat. (Reporting by Sam Byford; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)