Nikkei grabs small gains in shares of big companies but Sony is betting

JAPAN (OBSERVATORY) –┬áJapanese stocks gained modest gains on thin holiday deals on Tuesday, helped by heavyweight stocks such as Fast Retail and Vanuk but Sony collapsed after the company issued a profit warning.

The benchmark Nikkei <.N225> was up 0.2 percent at 22,508.03 points after swinging between gains and losses earlier. The broader TOPIX index was down 0.2 percent at 1,774.18.

The golden week holidays in Japan, where trading is quiet, began. The markets were closed on Monday and will be closed again on Thursday and Friday for the public holiday.

FAST shares rose 1.7 percent and Fanuk 1.8 percent, and together they added 47 points to the Nikkei.

Sony, meanwhile, fell 6.1 percent after the company forecast a profit of 670 billion yen ($ 6.13 billion) for the year to March. The index lost 12 points.

On the other hand, Hitachi jumped 6.1 percent after the company forecast a record high operating profit for the current fiscal year at 750 billion yen, up 4.9 percent year-on-year.

The Nikkei newspaper said earlier this week that Hitachi would ask the British government to take a direct stake in the company that will build and operate a nuclear power plant in Wales. The company is now wholly owned by the Japanese Industrial Group.

Banking performance was weak as Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group fell 3 percent and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group lost 1.4 percent.