Japanese stocks rose for a second day, with the Topix index posting its biggest advance in three weeks, after the yen weakened against the dollar on better-than-expected U.S. jobs growth.
Mazda Motor Corp., a carmaker that gets 30 percent of sales in North America, gained 3 percent. Yahoo Japan Corp. jumped 6.4 percent, the most on the Nikkei 225 Stock Average, after Goldman Sachs Group Inc. recommended the Internet portal-site operator’s shares. Daikin Industries Ltd., an air-conditioner maker that counts China as its biggest overseas market, climbed 2 percent after the trade surplus expanded in Asia’s largest economy.
The Topix gained 1.6 percent to 1,255.32 at the close in Tokyo, its largest rally since Nov. 15. All but one of the 33 industry groups climbed. The Nikkei 225 increased 2.3 percent to 15,650.21. Investors weighed the payrolls report to gauge the strength of the U.S. economy and timing of stimulus cuts. The yen retreated 1.1 percent to 102.91 per dollar on Dec. 6 and extended its decline to 103.05 today.
“The U.S. jobs data were good, but they weren’t strong enough to cause tapering immediately,” said Ichiro Yamada, general manager of equities at Fukoku Mutual Life Insurance. “That makes it difficult for the yen to strengthen and easy to buy stocks.”
Futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index added 0.2 percent today. The equity measure gained 1.1 percent on Dec. 6, when data showed U.S. employers added 203,000 workers to nonfarm payrolls last month, more than the 185,000 increase predicted in a Bloomberg survey, while the jobless rate dropped to a five-year low of 7 percent.
The share of economists predicting the Federal Reserve will cut asset purchases in December doubled after the jobs report. The Federal Open Market Committee will probably begin reducing $85 billion in monthly bond buying at a Dec. 17-18 meeting, according to 34 percent of economists surveyed yesterday by Bloomberg, an increase from 17 percent in a Nov. 8 survey.
Exporters to the U.S. advanced as the yen maintained its drop versus the dollar. Mazda gained 3 percent to 485 yen and Sony Corp., an electronics maker that gets 16 percent of sales in the U.S., advanced 1.3 percent to 1,862 yen.
The Topix rallied 46 percent this year, the most among major developed markets, as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe tries to reach a 2 percent inflation target through the Bank of Japan’s unprecedented bond purchases. The index traded at 1.27 times book value today, compared with multiples of 2.60 for the S&P 500 and 1.76 for the Stoxx Europe 600 Index on Dec. 6.
Japan’s gross domestic product rose an annualized 1.1 percent in the July-September period, down from a preliminary reading of 1.9 percent, Cabinet Office data showed today. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg had expected a 1.6 percent increase.
China’s trade surplus widened last month to the largest in more than four years as exports exceeded estimates, in a sign global demand is helping sustain a recovery in the world’s second-biggest economy. The surplus of $33.8 billion was the largest since January 2009, data from the General Administration of Customs showed yesterday in Beijing.
Daikin added 2 percent to 6,500 yen. TDK Corp., a maker of electronic components that gets 26 percent of revenue in China, gained 1.6 percent to 4,780 yen.
Yahoo Japan jumped 6.4 percent to 530 yen after its rating was raised to conviction buy from neutral at Goldman Sachs. Volume was almost five times the three-month average. The company has climbed 90 percent this year.
NTN Corp. gained 6.2 percent to 466 yen for the biggest advance since June 10. The maker of ball bearings was upgraded to outperform from neutral at Iwai Cosmo Securities Co.
Mixi Inc. surged 15 percent to 7,560 yen. The social-network operator has advanced more than sixfold since Nov. 20.
Among shares that fell, Daiho Corp., a general contractor, slumped 11 percent to 320 yen for the biggest decline on the 1,755-member Topix. The company plans to raise as much as 3.8 billion yen ($36 million) from a public share sale.
JK Holdings Co. sank 7 percent to 557 yen after the plywood wholesaler said it will raise up to 1.47 billion yen by selling shares.
The Topix Electric Power & Gas Index slipped 0.2 percent for the only decline among the 33 subsectors. Chubu Electric Power Co., which accounts for 11 percent of the gauge, led losses, falling 1.4 percent to 1,332 yen.