US, WASHINGTON (ORDO NEWS) — Japanese stocks ended flat on Friday with support from health care and energy companies, but investors held back from making big bets ahead of the US unemployment data released later on Friday.
The benchmark Nikkei index closed up 0.01 percent to 17,820.19 points in a quiet session that saw the volatility of shares between profit and loss. For the week, the index was 8.1 percent lower, as worries about the economic costs of the Corona virus damaged stock markets around the world.
Investors bought the shares of healthcare companies that are expected to make profits as researchers raced to find medicines to treat the global epidemic of the Corona virus.
Some oil production and industrial companies also received a boost, thanks to hopes for a truce between major crude producers, which would alleviate some of the huge surplus supplies in the energy market.
80 stocks advanced on the Nikkei, compared to 142 shares on Friday.
Dinka Chemical Industries was the largest percentage gainer on the index, rising 24.03 percent, followed by Fujifilm Holdings Products and Medical Devices, which rose 6.25 percent, and Parcel Delivery Company Yamato Holdings, whose share gained 4.44 percent.
Subaru, the automaker, was the biggest loser in the index, down 8.22 percent, followed by J.Front Retail, which operates multi-department stores, as its share plunged 7.75 percent.
And the broader Topix index fell 0.36 percent to 1325.13 on Friday. In the week, the Topix index fell 9.2 percent.
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