Japanese shares end higher as focus shifts to corporate earnings
TOKYO, May 10 (Reuters) - Japanese shares gained on Monday, as a strong finish last week on Wall Street boosted risk appetite, while local investors looked to corporate earnings from automakers and other major firms for signs of progress in a pandemic-hit economy.
The Nikkei share average .N225 rose 0.55% to close at 29,518.34, while the broader Topix .TOPX jumped 0.99% to 1,952.27.
The Dow and the S&P 500 hit record closing highs on Friday after unexpectedly slow growth in the U.S. jobs market eased concerns over prospects for rising rates. .N
The yield on benchmark 10-year Treasury notes US10YT=RR plunged to a two-month low of 1.4690% on Friday. US/
"The U.S. market gained on speculation that low interest rates will continue for a prolonged period of time, and that also lifted Japanese market on Monday," Masahiro Ichikawa, chief market strategist at Sumitomo Mitsui DS Asset Management said.
"On the other hand, investors are waiting to confirm the outlook of major firms, particularly they want to see the impact of chip shortage on automakers."
Japanese automakers are set to report their earnings this week, starting with Nissan Motor 7201.T on Tuesday and Toyota Motor 7203.T on Wednesday, the same day as SoftBank Group 9984.T.
Toyota gained 1.7%, while Nissan jumped 4.39%. SoftBank Group rose 1.7%.
Nippon Steel 5401.T advanced 5.26% after issuing annual profit forecast above analysts estimate last week, helping the sector index .ISTEL.T gain 4.68%.
JFE Holdings 5411.T and Daido Steel 5471.T jumped 7.21% and 6.08%, respectively.
Shipping firm Nippon Yusen 9101.T fell 3.18% after its annual operating profit forecast missed analysts' expectations. Sea transport sector .ISHIP.T lost 3.24%, making it the biggest loser among the 33 sector sub-indexes.
(Reporting by Junko Fujita; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu and Sherry Jacob-Phillips)