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Nikkei edges up on Evergrande debt payment; U.S. rate hike concerns cap gains

·1 min read

TOKYO, Oct 22 (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei edged up on Friday after debt-ridden developer China Evergrande Group made a bond payment, but uncertainties around U.S. interest rate hikes, and caution ahead of the nation's general election and corporate earnings season capped gains. 

  The Nikkei share average rose 0.34% to close at 28,804.85, after gaining as much as 0.98% earlier in the session, on news that the Chinese property developer made a bond interest payment. For the week, the Nikkei lost 0.9%. 

  The broader Topix inched up 0.7% at 2,002.23. 

  Technology shares led the gains, with chip-related Tokyo Electron rising 4.4% and Advantest adding 1.22%. Disco rose 2.99% after it posted a 71% jump in its first-half operating profit. 

  But the market was weighed down by uncertainties outside Japan, as Evergrande still faces debt repayments, oil price remains high and rise in U.S. bond yields overnight, said Shoichi Arisawa, general manager of the investment research department at IwaiCosmo Securities. 

  "On top of those, in Japan we have a national election coming up and the earnings season starting next week. Investors wanted to wait to see the outcome of those events before making bets." 

  The LDP could lose some seats in the Oct. 31 lower house election, but the ruling coalition it forms with the Komeito party is expected to maintain a majority, according to domestic media reports. 

  Japan Post Holdings fell 1.63% ahead of the sale of its shares by the government, which could absorb almost $8 billion cash from the market. (Reporting by Junko Fujita; Editing by Anil D'Silva and Vinay Dwivedi) 

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