Nikkei 225 Gains as Aso Says Japan Escaped G-20 CensureYoshiaki Nohara
Japanese stocks rose, with the Topix Index paring a weekly loss, as Tokyo Electron Ltd. led chip-equipment makers higher and exporters rebounded after Finance Minister Taro Aso said global policy makers wouldn’t censure Japan for the currency’s slide.
Toyota Motor Corp., Japan’s biggest company, added 0.6 percent. Tokyo Electron climbed 7.1 percent after topping estimates for operating profit. Capcom Co. jumped 9 percent after saying it will buy back shares.
The Topix gained 0.3 percent to close at 1,126.67 in Tokyo, capping a 1.9 percent weekly drop, the most since November. The Nikkei 225 Stock Average rose 0.7 percent to 13,316.48, rebounding from a 0.3 percent drop, as the yen weakened against all 16 of its major peers. Canon Inc. and Nintendo Co. are among more than 200 companies on the 1,698-member Topix due to report earnings next week, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
“Now that investors see the yen isn’t going to rise, stocks are rebounding,” said Isao Kubo, a Tokyo-based equity strategist at Nissay Asset Management Corp., which oversees the equivalent of about $51 billion. “There are expectations companies will report strong earnings on the back of government policy and a weaker yen.”
The Topix surged 56 percent from mid-November amid confidence Kuroda and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe would take steps to tackle deflation. The gauge traded at 17 times estimated earnings, compared with 13.9 for the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index and 12.3 for the Stoxx Europe 600 Index, according to data compiled by Bloomberg
Aso said policies carried out as the currency dropped to a four-year low went unopposed at the Group of 20 meeting in Washington. A draft statement prepared for the end of the meeting today suggested members will withhold direct criticism of Japan’s stimulus while affirming a commitment to avoid weakening their currencies to gain a trade advantage.
Exporters advanced. Toyota added 0.9 percent to 5,480 yen after dropping as much as 1.5 percent. Toyota is preparing to start production of Lexus cars in the U.S. for the first time, two company officials said.
Mazda Motor Corp., the Japanese automaker with the highest proportion of exports, gained 1.9 percent to 320 yen. Sony Corp., Japan’s No. 1 exporter of consumer electronics, rose 1.7 percent to 1,623 yen.
Futures on the S&P 500 rose 0.6 percent. The gauge yesterday dropped 0.7 percent as earnings from UnitedHealth Group Inc. to EBay Inc. disappointed investors. A measure of manufacturing in the Philadelphia region expanded at a slower pace and the Conference Board’s index of U.S. leading economic indicators unexpectedly fell.
Tokyo Electron gained 7.1 percent to 4,535 yen after reporting full-year operating profit of 12.5 billion yen ($127 million), better than its forecast of 9.5 billion yen. The equipment maker cited lower costs for the improvement.
Dainippon Screen Manufacturing Co., a Japanese maker of machines that clean semiconductor wafers, gained 9.3 percent to 482 yen. Advantest Corp., a maker of memory-chip testers, added 2.3 percent to 1,366 yen.
Capcom jumped 9 percent to 1,703 yen, the biggest gain since July 2009, after saying it will buy back as many as 1.5 million common shares.
JX Holdings Inc., Japan’s second-biggest oil producer by value, dropped 2.3 percent to 503 yen after the Nikkei newspaper reported profit for the year ended March fell about 20 percent to about 340 billion yen from a year earlier. Warm weather weighed on the firm’s kerosene sales, the report said.
The Nikkei Stock Average Volatility Index slid 2.7 percent to 25.21, indicating traders expect a swing of about 7.2 percent on the benchmark gauge over the next 30 days.