TOKYO, Oct. 21 (Seal News) — Tokyo stocks ended slightly higher Monday amid hopes for solid corporate earnings reports from Japanese companies due out later this week.

The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average added 56.22 points, or 0.25 percent, from Friday to close the day at 22,548.90.

The broader Topix index of all First Section issues on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, meanwhile, gained 6.61 points, or 0.41 percent, to finish at 1,628.60.

Local brokers said that investors are hoping that earnings from domestic firms for the six months through September set to be released from Wednesday will beat median market expectations.

They added that while this helped underpin buying sentiment throughout the day, trading was thin as some hit the sidelines to await the first batch of results and gauge to what extent companies may upgrade their full-year forecasts as global trade tensions show signs of easing.

“If investors confirm signs of a bottoming out in the upcoming earnings, the Nikkei is expected to break the 23,000 level toward the weekend,” Maki Sawada, vice president of the investment research and investor services department at Nomura Securities Co., was quoted as saying.

Investors also hit the sidelines amid continued concerns over the United Kingdom’s planned exit from the European Union, after a vote on a new Brexit deal was delayed in Britain’s parliament amid calls for amendments to be made, a further delay to the exit date be put to the vote, as well as various other conflicting views from politicians including calls for a general election.

Market strategists here said, however, that the main concern for investors was that the United Kingdom did not crash out of the European Union without a deal.

Masahiro Ichikawa, senior strategist at Sumitomo Mitsui DS Asset Management Co., said that, “Market players will continue to cautiously watch the development, but concerns didn’t much weigh on stocks as a hard-line Brexit is likely to be avoided.”

Expectations for post-typhoon reconstruction work saw related issues gain traction, with construction firms Shimizu and Obayashi gaining 0.7 and 1.7 percent respectively.

A rise in U.S. long-term interest rates gave financial issues here a boost, and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group rose 1.5 percent, while Daiwa Securities Group ended the day 2.5 percent higher.

By the close of play, securities house, iron and steel, and construction-linked issues comprised those that gained the most, and issues that rose beat those that fell by 1,432 to 616 on the First Section, while 107 ended the day unchanged.

On the main section on Monday, 891.68 million shares changed hands, dropping from Friday’s volume of 1,082.28 million shares.

The turnover on the first trading day of the week came to 1,530.4billion yen (14.09 billion U.S. dollars).

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