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Nikkei at 21-year high; Fast Retailing jumps on sales

TOKYO, Nov 6 (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei share average touched a 21-year high on Monday as strong gains in the mining sector and shares such as clothing company Fast Retailing Co offset banking sector weakness.

The Nikkei was up 0.01 percent at the end of morning trade at 22,541.55, after rising as high as 22,644.68, its highest intraday level since July 1996.

Japanese markets were closed for a holiday on Friday.

Last week, the Nikkei rose 2.4 percent to mark its eighth straight weekly gain. That was its longest winning streak since Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's Abenomics reforms started in late 2012.

The broader Topix edged down 0.1 percent to 1,792.42 and the JPX-Nikkei Index 400 was 0.04 percent lower at 15,897.81.

Mining stocks continued to outperform, with the mining subindex rising 1.9 percent. Inpex Corp added 2.1 percent and Japan Petroleum Exploration Co was 1.9 percent higher.

Fast Retailing Co rose 2 percent, after the operator of clothing retailer Uniqlo said last week that sales jumped 8.9 pct in October from the previous year on brisk sales of winter clothes because of cold weather.

Suzuki Motor Corp shares were up 0.4 percent after earlier touching a record high. The automaker reported a 56 percent jump in its second-quarter operating profit last week, and also raised its full-year forecast.

But SoftBank Group Corp dropped 2.9 percent, after its group company Sprint Corp and T-Mobile US Inc said they have called off merger talks intended to create a stronger U.S. wireless company to rival market leaders.

Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda said on Monday the central bank was closely watching the potential damage that prolonged ultra-easy policy could have on financial institutions' profits.

He said such a risk was not serious for now because financial institutions had a sufficient buffer against declining profits.

The banking subindex was down 1.5 percent.

Mizuho Financial Group slipped 1.5 percent, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group skidded 1.8 percent and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group shed 1.2 percent.

(Reporting by Lisa Twaronite and Ayai Tomisawa; Editing by Eric Meijer)