Topix Little Changed Before Central Banks Meet, Company Earnings

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Japan’s Topix index closed little changed after fluctuating throughout the day ahead of policy meetings by the Federal Reserve and Bank of Japan and as more than 300 domestic companies post earnings this week.

Sony Corp. sank 0.3 percent, paring a drop of as much as 2.7 percent, after a Nikkei newspaper report that the company’s operating profit will reach about 300 billion yen ($2.5 billion), below estimates. Mazda Motor Corp. sank 2.8 percent after its operating profit projection missed expectations. NEC Corp. gained 4.9 percent as computer maker’s preliminary profit topped its forecast. Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings Corp. jumped 3.9 percent on a report the company will beat its net income forecast.

The Topix index was little changed at 1,619.07 at the close of trading in Tokyo after rising as much as 0.2 percent and falling 0.4 percent. The Nikkei 225 Stock Average slipped 0.2 percent to 19,983.32. The yen traded at 118.98 per dollar after strengthening for two days.

“No one’s going to be aggressively buying stocks,” said Tomomi Yamashita, who helps oversee the equivalent of $6.3 billion at Shinkin Asset Management Co. in Tokyo. “We have a lot of monetary policy decisions this week, and there’s concern the currency could swing around.”

E-mini futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index added less than 0.1 percent after the underlying measure gained 0.2 percent to a record on Friday in New York as Google Inc., Microsoft Corp. and Inc. rallied after posting quarterly results.

Central Banks

The BOJ concludes a two-day meeting on Thursday in Tokyo and the Fed releases its policy decision on Wednesday.

“This week we have both the U.S. and Japanese monetary policy meetings, so it’ll be difficult to take any definitive position before that,” Shoji Hirakawa, chief equity strategist at Okasan Securities Co. in Tokyo, said by phone.

About 330 Topix companies report results this week, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Robot maker Fanuc Corp., heavy equipment manufacturer Komatsu Ltd. and camera maker Canon Inc. are among companies releasing earnings Monday.

Sony sank 0.3 percent after the Nikkei newspaper reported the electronics maker’s full-year operating profit will probably be around 300 billion yen. Analysts had estimated it would reach 406 billion yen, Bloomberg data show.

Mazda sank 2.8 percent after the automaker forecast operating profit of 210 billion yen for the current fiscal year, missing analyst estimates for 230.8 billion yen.

NEC gained 4.9 percent, its highest close since October 2008, after reporting preliminary full-year operating profit of 128 billion yen, beating its forecast by 8 billion yen.

Mitsubishi Chemical jumped 3.9 percent to close at its highest since February 2008. The company is expected to post a 90 percent increase in profit for the fiscal year just ended, the Nikkei reported.

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