Japan Stocks Rise Amid Global Calm as China Closes for Holiday

  • Toshiba jumps on report earning will be released this week
  • Topix, Nikkei halt three days of losses amid lower volume

Japanese stocks rose for the first time this week after calm returned to global markets as China halted trading for a two-day holiday.

Toshiba Corp. gained 2.1 percent after a report it will release earnings this week following delays caused by an accounting scandal. Carrier NTT Docomo Inc. jumped 4.4 percent and freight transporter Nippon Express Co. added 1.3 percent after Barclays Plc. raised its ratings on the companies. MS&AD Insurance Group Holdings Inc. gained 4.9 percent in Tokyo as Goldman Sachs Group Inc. advised buying the shares, pushing insurers to the largest advance on the Topix index. Machinery maker Furukawa Co. Ltd. fell 3.2 percent to lead declines on the Nikkei 225 Stock Average.

The Topix gained 0.6 percent to 1,474.98 at the close of trading in Tokyo, paring gains of as much as 2.3 percent in late trading. About five shares rose for every four that fell amid volume 11 percent below the 30-day average. The Nikkei 225 added 0.5 percent to 18,182.39. The yen traded at 120.40 per dollar after weakening 0.8 percent on Wednesday. The rout in global stocks eased on Wednesday, with U.S. equities halting a two-day slump after Chinese shares ended their last day of trading this week with the smallest loss since mid-August.

“One modest positive today is the fact China is offline for its Victory Day commemorations,” said Chris Weston, Melbourne-based chief markets strategist at IG Ltd. “So traders and investors will be focused on domestic data, valuations and trying to understand how to navigate these crazy markets.”  

U.S. Futures

Futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index were little changed after the underlying measure rose 1.8 percent on Wednesday.

A rout in global equities last month, sparked by China’s devaluation of its currency, erased more than $5.7 trillion from the value of global shares amid growing concern that the world’s second-biggest economy may be in worse shape than analysts had estimated.

China on Wednesday moved to limit trading of stock-index futures by lowering the bar for “abnormal trading” and increasing margin requirements and settlement fees. The effort to support stocks is part of a broader push to ensure that nothing detracts from the memorial parade marking the end of World War II, which the government is using to demonstrate China’s growing military and political might. Mainland markets are closed for the rest of the week and Hong Kong is out Thursday.

Fed Rates

Amid continuing concerns that China’s slowdown will weigh on the global economy, traders are now pricing in a 32 percent chance that the Federal Reserve will raise U.S. interest rates this month, down from 38 percent on Monday. Policy makers have a little more than two weeks to assess incoming data before deciding whether to act on rates.

Toshiba gained 2.1 percent after the Yomiuri newspaper said the company will release its delayed earnings report this week, and losses are expected to be about 10 billion yen for fiscal year 2014.

NTT Docomo added 4.4 percent after Barclays raised the mobile carrier’s rating to overweight from underweight. Nippon Express rose 1.3 percent after Barclays boosted its investment rating to overweight from equalweight.

Furukawa sank 3.2 percent, the most since Aug. 24, to lead declines on the Nikkei 225. On the Topix, banks, textile makers and companies including gamer Nintendo Co. lagged the index.

Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal. LEARN MORE