Toyota Motor Corp., Asia’s largest carmaker, climbed 2.8 percent as auto companies and electronics makers provided the biggest support to the Topix. Amada Co. (6113), the third-biggest maker of metalwork machines by market value, jumped 5.3 percent after a report that its operating profit in the six months through September will rise 150 percent. Tokyo Electric Power Co. sank 4.9 percent after the government demanded it improve irradiated water storage after a spill escalated into the biggest crisis at its Fukushima plant since the March 2011 disaster.
The Topix gained 2 percent to 1,141.63 at the close of trading in Tokyo, its biggest daily advance since Aug. 13, after yesterday closing at the lowest in eight weeks. All 33 industry groups on the gauge rose. The Nikkei 225 jumped 2.2 percent to 13,660.55.
“The currency is showing that investors are moving away from their previous risk-averse positions, and that’s breeding a sense of security in the equity markets,” said Naoki Fujiwara, Tokyo-based chief fund manager at Shinkin Asset Management Co., which oversees the equivalent of $6.5 billion. “If the Federal Reserve begins tapering amid global economic strength, then the markets are going to take it positively. Japanese shares aren’t extremely cheap, but the Nikkei 225 in the 13,000 range is a good price to buy.”
The yen weakened today to touch 99.14 per dollar, which put it on course for the lowest close since Aug. 1, before Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda speaks tomorrow at the Federal Reserve’s annual monetary conference in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.
Toyota, which gets 75 percent of its sales outside of Japan, advanced 2.8 percent to 6,220 yen today, the most since Aug. 2. Honda Motor Co. (7267), which counts North America as its biggest sales market, rose 2.5 percent to 3,730 yen. Sony Corp., which gets 68 percent of its sales abroad, jumped 3.2 percent to 1,966 yen.
Futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index fell 0.2 percent today. The measure rose 0.9 percent yesterday after data showed improvement in global manufacturing and the American labor market. The Nasdaq Composite Index gained 1.1 percent following a three-hour trading halt on the Nasdaq Stock Market after a computer error.
Manufacturing data yesterday from China to Germany added to signs of a global economic recovery.
HSBC Holdings Plc and Markit Economics’ flash purchasing managers’ index of preliminary China manufacturing data unexpectedly rose to 50.1 for August, from 47.7 in July. A measure of German manufacturing compiled by Markit Economics climbed to 52 in August from 50.7 in July, beating the 51.1 estimate of analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.
Among other shares that rose, Amada advanced 5.3 percent to 769 yen, the third-biggest advance on the Nikkei 225 and closing at its highest level since May 29. The company may see its half-yearly operating profit surge 150 percent from the same period a year earlier to 4.5 billion yen amid a recovery in the U.S. manufacturing industry, the Nikkei newspaper reported today, without citing anyone.
The Topix yesterday declined below its 50-day and 100-day moving average. It traded at 1.19 times book value today, compared with 2.44 for the S&P 500 and 1.71 for the Stoxx Europe 600 Index yesterday.
“Investors are buying with an eye on a technical rebound after the recent weakness,” said Hiroaki Hiwada, a strategist at Toyo Securities Co. in Tokyo. “The market’s focus remains on the details of tapering of stimulus from the U.S. and will likely remain within a limited trading range for the time being.”
Among stocks that fell, Tokyo Electric Power dropped 4.9 percent to 508 yen, the biggest drop on the Nikkei 225 and its lowest close since June 6. The government demanded stronger tanks for storing the more than 300,000 tons of contaminated water on its Fukushima site, an amount that is growing by 400 tons a day.
Just 2.3 billion shares traded hands on the first section of Japan’s stock exchange today, below the 3.5 billion average for 2013 as investors take summer vacations. The measure’s 30-day historic volatility was at 26.6 today, compared with its five-year median of 19.4.
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