Japanese Shares Advance on Weaker Yen, Bernanke Comments

Japan’s Topix index rose as the yen weakened past 100 per dollar and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said the benchmark rate will remain low long after policy makers reduce bond purchases.

Honda Motor Co., a carmaker that gets 83 percent of revenue abroad, added 0.9 percent. Cosmo Oil Co. (5007) gained 2.3 percent after Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities Co. raised its investment rating on the refiner. Daiichi Sankyo Co. slumped the most on the Nikkei 225 Stock Average as Cantor Fitzgerald L.P. said edoxaban, its new blood thinning drug, may have trouble competing with existing anti-coagulants.

The Topix (TPX) gained 0.3 percent to 1,240.57 as of 9:27 a.m. in Tokyo, after yesterday falling for the first time in four days. All but eight of the 33 industry groups climbed, with volume about 20 percent below the 30-day intraday average. The Nikkei 225 increased 0.4 percent to 15,184.78. The yen slipped 0.1 percent to 100.21 against the greenback.

“With surplus liquidity around, investment money is likely to flow into risk assets, and given the weaker yen there is heightened optimism about upwards revisions to earnings,” said Hiroichi Nishi, an equities manager in Tokyo at SMBC Nikko Securities Inc., a unit of Japan’s second-biggest lender by market value. “The downside is likely to be limited and there will be buying when prices fall.”

Futures on the Standard and Poor’s 500 Index added 0.1 percent. The Fed’s Bernanke said the labor market has shown “meaningful improvement” since the start of the central bank’s bond-buying program and that the target for the federal funds rate is likely to remain near zero “for a considerable time after the asset purchases end, and perhaps well after.”

The U.S. gauge yesterday fell 0.2 percent after disappointing forecasts from Best Buy Co. and Campbell Soup Co.

To contact the reporters on this story: Anna Kitanaka in Tokyo at akitanaka@bloomberg.net; Masaaki Iwamoto in Tokyo at miwamoto4@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Sarah McDonald at smcdonald23@bloomberg.net

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