TOKYO, Dec 25 Reuters Japanese shares were little changed in holidaythinned trade on Friday but some investors bought procyclical stocks that are expected to perform well next year as the global economy recovers from the coronavirus pandemic.
The Nikkei 225 Index was largely steady, off just 0.02 to 26,662.34 by 0202 GMT. The broader Topix rose 0.08 to 1,775.74.
Shares in the shipping, raw materials, and real estate sectors rose, while tech firms fell in overall activity substantially thinned by the closure of many financial markets for Christmas holidays.
Sentiment was underpinnnd by Britain and the European Union securing a freetrade deal, and further soothed earlier in the week by U.S. lawmakers agreeing a 900 billion economic stimulus package.
The roll out of coronavirus vaccinations and expectations that interest rates will remain low for a prolonged period have also brightened prospects for equities next year.
For policy and financial markets a goldilocks scenario is likely to continue next year due to a gradual economic recovery and monetary easing, analysts at Mizuho Securities said in a research memo.
The stocks that gained the most among the top 30 core Topix names were Seven i Holdings Co Ltd up 1.61, followed by ShinEtsu Chemical Co Ltd rising 1.23.
The underperformers among the Topix 30 were SoftBank Group Corp down 3.36, followed by Recruit Holdings Co Ltd losing 1.49.
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