Japan’s Nikkei share index was little changed on Thursday as investors stayed on the sidelines before a three-day weekend.
The markets traded mostly flat but companies linked to inbound tourism demand rose after data showed a rebound in visitors in October.
The Nikkei was flat at 21,508.41 points by midmorning, after opening a tad higher, reports Reuters.
Companies such as cosmetics makers which benefit from tourist spending attracted buyers after the Japan National Tourism Organisation reported that October numbers rose 1.8 per cent on-year to 2.646 million after dropping in the previous two months.
Shiseido Co gained 3.6 per cent, Kose Corp added 3.0 per cent. Drugstore Matsumotokiyoshi advanced 1.9 per cent.
For the week, the Nikkei has shed 0.8 per cent so far.
Defensive stocks such as railway stocks, real estate firms and food processors outperformed.
Central Japan Railway added 1.2 per cent, Mitsubishi Estate Co gained 1.5 per cent and Ajinomoto Co rose 1.0 per cent.
Elsewhere, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group tumbled nearly 3.0 per cent to a level not seen since early July.
The broader Topix was flat at 1,615.56.
Japanese markets will be closed on Friday due to a national holiday.
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