Japan Stock Snap Two-Day Loss as Energy Producers Rise

Japanese stocks rose, with the Topix index snapping a two-day loss amid low volume, as energy producers advanced the most among the gauge’s industry groups.

JX Holdings Inc. jumped 4 percent after Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities Co. raised the refiner’s equity rating. Airport Facilities Co., which builds and leases aircraft hangars, surged 16 percent on a report the government is considering a strategic zone to support manufacturers near Haneda Airport. Tokyo Electric Power Co. fell 3.6 percent after saying two workers at its Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear reactor were exposed to radiation.

The Topix added 0.6 percent to 1,149.13 in Tokyo, closing at the day’s high after falling as much as 0.4 percent. Volume was 43 percent below the 30-day average as investors awaited the Federal Reserve’s gathering in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, and the release of the Fed’s July meeting minutes this week. The Nikkei 225 Stock Average gained 0.8 percent to 13,758.13.

“Shares got bought back a bit, but it’s not that we had new factors today,” said Masaaki Yamaguchi, an equity market strategist at Nomura Holdings Inc., Japan’s biggest brokerage by market value. “The market was very thin ahead of key events this week such as Jackson Hole and the Fed minutes.”

The Topix has dropped about 10 percent from its May 22 close, which was the highest since 2008. Japanese shares have led gains among developed markets this year amid optimism that record stimulus by the Bank of Japan and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s reforms will boost growth.

Turnover Tumbles

Turnover on the Topix was about 1.26 trillion yen ($12.9 billion), the lowest since Dec. 25. The measure’s 30-day historic volatility was at 26.05, compared with its five-year median of 19.42. The Topix traded at 1.18 times book value today, compared with 2.43 for the S&P 500 and 1.72 for the Stoxx Europe 600 Index on Aug. 16.

Japan’s exports rose 12.2 percent in July from a year earlier, data showed today, less than the 12.8 percent estimated by economists.

“The market lacks big influential factors with low volume, and it’s hard to get a sense of direction,” said Takahiro Nakano, a Tokyo-based senior strategist at Mizuho Trust & Banking Co., a unit of Japan’s third-largest bank by market value. “The trade data didn’t have much of an impact.”

Futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index gained 0.1 percent today. The gauge fell 2.1 percent in the five days through Aug. 16, the biggest weekly decline in almost two months, as investors weighed data showing housing starts climbed in July while a gauge of consumer confidence fell.

Jackson Hole

Central bankers and policy makers including BOJ Governor Haruhiko Kuroda meet in Jackson Hole to discuss the global economy and monetary policy on Aug. 22-24. The Fed on Aug. 21 is scheduled to release minutes from the Federal Open Market Committee’s July meeting.

All but four of the 33 Topix industry groups rose today, with energy producers and paper companies gaining the most. JX Holdings rose 4 percent to 547 yen and Idemitsu Kosan Co., an oil refiner and distributor, added 3 percent to 8,540 yen. Oji Holdings Corp., Japan’s biggest paper company, advanced 2.5 percent to 412 yen.

Airport Facilities soared 16 percent to 738 yen, the biggest rally since at least 1995, after the Sankei newspaper reported Japan is considering the strategic zone to help small and medium-sized manufacturers and advanced medicine businesses, and to promote exports of Japan’s pop culture such as animation. Japan Airport Terminal Co. added 2.9 percent to 1,902 yen.

Tokyo Electric Power slid 3.6 percent to 622 yen as two workers at the Fukushima Dai-Ichi plant were exposed to radiation near a quake-resistant building today, about 15 minutes after the radioactivity alarm of a dust monitor went off, according to an e-mailed statement from the utility.

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