Japan’s Topix index swung between gains and losses as real-estate companies and shippers advanced while insurers and tiremakers retreated.
Mitsui Fudosan Co. (8801) rose 1.4 percent after BNP Paribas SA initiated coverage of the developer with a buy rating. Skymark Airlines Inc. slid 2.3 percent after cutting its profit forecast. Bridgestone Corp. paced declines among tiremakers after saying it will close a domestic plant, citing a lack of competitiveness.
The Topix (TPX) added 0.1 percent to 1,207.89 as of 9:38 a.m. in Tokyo after falling as much as 0.2 percent. The measure is headed for a 0.9 percent gain this week after rising 2.9 percent last week. The Nikkei 225 Stock Average increased 0.1 percent to 14,599.91. The yen advanced 0.9 percent against the dollar yesterday on signals the Federal Reserve may delay tapering of asset buying after the government shutdown and debt impasse.
“While extending the Fed’s stimulus will increase the investors’ risk tolerance, it also weighs on Japan as it leads to a stronger yen,” said Hideyuki Ishiguro, senior strategist at Okasan Securities Co. in Tokyo. “Japanese shares are going to lack direction.”
Futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index increased 0.2 percent. The measure rose to a record yesterday after President Barack Obama signed a bill to fund the government through Jan. 15 and extend borrowing authority until Feb. 7. Investors will now weigh the shutdown’s effects on corporate earnings and economic growth as the impasse fueled bets the Fed will delay reducing its $85 billion in monthly bond purchases.
The Topix traded at 1.26 times book value yesterday, compared with 2.54 for the S&P 500 and 1.77 for the Stoxx Europe 600 Index. Volume on the Japanese gauge was 28 percent below its 30-day intraday average today. Its 30-day historic volatility was at 16.11 yesterday, compared with its five-year median of 19.31.
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