Nikkei edges up as defensives rise

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei stock average edged up 0.9 percent on Wednesday, buoyed by defensive shares such as Takeda Pharmaceutical <4502.T>, while Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group <8306.T> slipped after reporting a quarterly loss.

Japan's economy shrank 4.0 percent in the first quarter, the biggest contraction on record, but economists see a return to modest growth in coming quarters for the world's No. 2 economy.

The benchmark Nikkei <.N225> gained 79.85 points to 9,370.14, while the broader Topix <.TOPX> rose 0.9 percent to 887.74.

(Reporting by Elaine Lies)

Article Published: 20/05/2009