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Japanese Chip Stocks Outperform US Peers Amid China Export Curbs

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(Bloomberg) — Japan’s semiconductor-related stocks outperformed US peers last month amid concerns over the impact of Washington’s tighter regulations on exports to China.

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An MSCI gauge of Japanese chip stocks jumped 14% in October, its best month in nearly two years and more than four times the gain in the Philadelphia Semiconductor Index. The best performer was Lasertec Corp., a maker of testing gear for extreme ultraviolet lithography chipmaking, which posted a 45% gain on the month.

While chip stocks rebounded globally last month after steep drops earlier this year on concerns over rising interest rates and sector valuations, the China curbs caused additional concern for US suppliers. Japanese shares did “extremely well” in comparison, as they face relatively limited impact, said Masahiro Wakasugi, an analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence.

As seen in earnings comments from other major global players, however, “if Chinese semiconductor companies stop investing, after a while there may be an indirect effect in a decrease in demand for suppliers other than US companies,” Wakasugi said.

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