Japan Stocks Cap Third Quarterly Gain on Data, Weak YenYoshiaki Nohara
Japanese stocks rose, with the Topix index capping its biggest three-quarter rally since 1972, as industrial production beat estimates and consumer prices halted a six-month slide. Shares also climbed as stronger U.S. data cheered investors and weakened the yen.
Nissan Motor Co. gained 3.5 percent after figures showed Japanese carmakers’ U.S. production rose 36 percent last year. ReproCell Inc., a stem-cell research company, closed more than five times higher than its initial public offering price after going untraded for two days. A gauge tracking developers led gains among the Topix’s 33 industry groups for a second day.
The Topix added 3.2 percent to 1,133.84 at the close in Tokyo. All subsectors advanced. The gauge lost 0.2 percent this month and climbed 9.6 percent for the quarter. The Nikkei 225 Stock Average advanced 3.5 percent to 13,677.32, with only four companies falling.
“Japanese stocks are rising along with global stocks as concerns recede about U.S. and Chinese monetary policies,” said Soichiro Monji, chief strategist at Tokyo-based Daiwa SB Investments Ltd., which oversees the equivalent of $50 billion. “On top of that, industrial production was good, and I think those who were hesitant to buy because of volatility are returning to the market.”
The Topix climbed 47 percent over the past three quarters, its biggest such gain in more than 40 years, amid optimism Japan may beat deflation and achieve sustainable growth. The measure traded at 14.3 times average estimated earnings, compared with 14.6 for the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index and 12.7 for the Stoxx Europe 600 Index.
The Topix rose 3.1 percent this week as concerns eased about a cash crunch in China. The People’s Bank of China said June 25 it has provided liquidity to some financial institutions to stabilize money-market rates and will use other tools to ensure steady markets. The central bank will maintain market stability, PBOC Governor Zhou Xiaochuan reiterated in a speech in Shanghai today.
Japanese shares outperformed regional gauges today as data showed the country’s industrial production rose 2 percent in May from the previous month, beating the median estimate for a 0.2 percent increase in a Bloomberg survey of 32 economists. Consumer prices excluding fresh food were unchanged on the year, leaving negative territory for the first time since October.
The Bank of Japan’s Tankan index due July 1 is forecast to show improved sentiment among large manufacturers, according to the median estimate of 22 economists in a Bloomberg survey.
The Topix has swung an average of about 3.1 percent daily since May 22. The gauge’s 30-day historic volatility closed at 42.44 today, its highest since the 2011 earthquake and tsunami.
Futures on the S&P 500 rose 0.3 percent. The gauge climbed 0.6 percent yesterday, capping its biggest three-day rally since January. Data showed gains in consumer spending and sales of previously-owned homes, while jobless claims fell. The yen weakened to as much as 99.02 per dollar today, the lowest since June 11.
In another boost for Japanese stocks, Federal Reserve Bank of New York President William C. Dudley said yesterday the central bank may prolong asset purchases if the economy fails to meet forecasts. Separately, Fed Governor Jerome Powell said any tapering of bond-buying depends on economic data.
Japanese automakers built 3.3 million cars and trucks in the U.S. last year, up from 2.4 million in 2011, according to new data from the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association. That was the most since 2007, according to the trade group.
Nissan rose 3.5 percent to 1,005 yen and Honda Motor Co., Japan’s second-largest carmaker by market value, added 2.2 percent to 3,685 yen. Toyota Motor Corp., the world’s biggest, gained 1.5 percent to 5,990 yen.
ReproCell soared to 18,300 yen, 472 percent higher than its IPO price of 3,200 yen. It’s the largest first-day jump for an initial offering over $10 million in value since Konami Computer Entertainment Studios Inc. soared 525 percent in 1999.
The Topix Real Estate Index advanced 5.55 percent today after surging 8.76 percent yesterday. It’s the subsector’s biggest two-day advance since April. Mitsubishi Estate Co., which accounts for 33 percent of the gauge, jumped 6.7 percent to 2,641 yen.