Japan shares end higher on U.S. stimulus hopes, post weekly gains
TOKYO, Oct 23 (Reuters) - Japanese shares ticked up on Friday after signs of progress in U.S. stimulus talks helped Wall Street finish higher overnight, while some investors refrained from making big bets ahead of a string of earnings reports next week.
The benchmark Nikkei share average .N225 rose 0.18% to 23,516.59, while the broader Topix .TOPX gained 0.34% to 1,625.32. Both of the indexes posted weekly gains of more than 0.45%.
Wall Street provided a strong lead as positive economic data and the prospect of more fiscal stimulus helped all three major U.S. stock indexes end higher on Thursday.
The Japanese market showed little reaction to the final U.S. presidential debate ahead of the November election.
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries 7011.T climbed more than 6.5% after Reuters reported it would freeze the development of its SpaceJet regional jet.
Online games developer Nexon Co 3659.T soared above 17%, having hit the daily limit earlier after media reported the company would replace FamilyMart Co 8028.T in the Nikkei stock average.
Other companies that were seen as potential replacements, such as Kakaku.com Inc 2371.T and Zozo Inc 3092.T dropped more than 7% each.
The largest percentage loser in the index was Hitachi Construction Machinery 6305.T, plunging more than 16% after media reported Hitachi Ltd 6501.T was considering a partial sale of its stake in the company.
Shares of semiconductor firms Tokyo Electron 8035.T and Advantest Corp 6857.T lost 2.74% and 1.08%, respectively, tracking a 10% decline in Intel Corp's shares INTC.O after it reported a slump in quarterly margins.
The Mothers Index .MTHR of start-up firm shares trimmed early losses but remained 0.93% lower as investors booked profits after a recent rally that pushed it to a 14-year high. The index posted its biggest weekly loss since July.
"Earnings reports from key firms will be out in full swing from next week. So perhaps investors are profit-taking to shift their focus to these firms," said Takashi Hiroki, chief strategist at Monex.
(Reporting by Eimi Yamamitsu; Editing by Aditya Soni)
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