Japan Shares Jump on Weaker Yen Amid Bets U.K. Will Stay in EU

How Would Brexit Impact Yen and Sterling Crosses?
  • Odds of Brexit fell to 32 percent Sunday, easing pressure
  • Exporters biggest Topix support after the yen weakens

Japanese shares rose, with the Topix index posting its biggest gain in two months, as the yen weakened amid increased bets the U.K. will vote to remain in the European Union.

The Topix climbed 2.3 percent to 1,279.19 at the close in Tokyo, its steepest advance since April 19. The measure posted a 6 percent loss last week, its biggest such decline in about four months. The Nikkei 225 Stock Average climbed 2.3 percent to 15,965.30. The yen slipped 0.5 percent to 104.61 per dollar after six days of gains.

Bookmakers’ odds of the U.K. voting on June 23 to exit the 28-nation bloc fell to about 32 percent Sunday, with the poll from Survation for the Mail on Sunday newspaper showing 45 percent of people backed the “Remain” camp, while 42 percent supported “Leave.” The opinion poll is the first since the killing of pro-Europe lawmaker Jo Cox last week.

“Because of the unexpected incident, it’s become harder for those in the ‘Leave’ camp to be as proactive as before,” said Nobuyuki Fujimoto, a senior market analyst at SBI Securities Co. “The fact that the U.K. is leaning more toward staying in the EU is leading to some relief.” 

Japan stocks slumped last week amid concern about a possible “Brexit” and as the Bank of Japan decided to keep monetary policy unchanged. The Topix is down about 17 percent in 2016, the second-worst performance among 24 developed markets tracked by Bloomberg.

All 33 industry groups on the Topix rose, led by oil producers and shippers. Exporters including electrical-appliance manufacturers and automakers were the biggest boosts to the measure.

  • Toyota Motor Corp., which gets about 38 percent of its sales from north America, rose 2.7 percent, while Sony Corp., which gets about 75 percent of its revenue abroad, added 3.1 percent.

  • Sporting-goods maker Asics Corp. slumped 8.7 percent after cutting its full-year operating profit forecast by 21 percent.

  • Mitsubishi Motors Corp. slid 3.5 percent after the embattled automaker said it’ll book a charge of 50 billion yen ($480 million) this fiscal year to compensate buyers for manipulating fuel-efficiency ratings.

Japan’s exports fell for an eighth consecutive month in May as shipments to China, the U.S. and Europe slumped, undermining Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s efforts to revive the economy. Overseas shipments declined 11.3 percent from a year earlier, the Ministry of Finance said Monday. Imports fell 13.8 percent, leaving a trade deficit of 40.7 billion yen ($389 million).

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