Stocks

Nikkei flat as weak drugmaker stocks offset gains in trading firms

Reuters Tokyo | Updated on January 09, 2018 Published on December 22, 2017

The broader Topix rose 0.3 percent to 1,827.35. File Photo   -  Reuters

The pharmaceutical sector tumbled 1.6 per cent and was the worst performer on the board

Japan's Nikkei share average was flat on Friday morning as gains in commodities trading houses offset weakness in drugmakers, while Kobe Steel stumbled after it said senior executives were aware of data tampering.

The Nikkei was flat at 22,869.58 in midmorning trade. For the week, it has gained 1.4 per cent so far, the biggest weekly percentage gain in more than a month.

The pharmaceutical sector tumbled 1.6 per cent and was the worst performer on the board, after Eisai Co dived more than 16 per cent on news an Alzheimer drug it is jointly developing failed to meet its mid-stage trial goals. Santen Pharmaceutical stumbled 13.5 per cent after it said on Thursday that the US regulator's response to its application for intravitreal sirolimus indicated it would not be able approve the application in its present form.

Kobe Steel Ltd dropped more than 2 per cent after the company admitted for the first time that executives were aware of the cheating, and reassigned three senior officials. Outperforming the market were trading houses, with Itochu Corp rising 1.6 per cent and Sumitomo Corp gaining 1.3 per cent. The broader Topix rose 0.3 percent to 1,827.35.

Published on December 22, 2017
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