Japanese Stocks Rise Second Day Before U.S. Jobs Data

Japanese stocks rose for a second day on lower-than-average trading volume, with the Topix index extending a three-week high, before the U.S. releases jobs data that was delayed by the government shutdown.

Nisshin Fudosan Co. jumped 13 percent after the developer raised its profit forecast. Asahi Kasei Corp. gained 2.7 percent on a Nikkei newspaper report the chemical maker’s first-half operating profit may have surged 83 percent. Nippon Yusen K.K. dropped 2.1 percent as shippers led declines among the Topix’s 33 industry groups.

The Topix rose 0.2 percent to to 1,214.44 in Tokyo after falling as much as 0.1 percent. The equity gauge closed at its highest since Sept. 27 amid trading volume 21 percent below the 30-day average. The Nikkei 225 Stock Average added 0.1 percent to 14,713.25. The September employment data will help investors gauge the state of the world’s largest economy.

“Investors can’t move much before the U.S. jobs data gives the market some kind of direction,” said Tetsuo Seshimo, a Tokyo-based portfolio manager at Saison Asset Management Co., which oversees about 77 billion yen ($783 million). “Speaking of earnings, I think results will be mixed, adding to market uncertainty.”

Some 580 companies on the 1,744-member Topix gauge are scheduled to report results from today through Oct. 31, with earnings season peaking next week, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

The Topix added 1.7 percent this month, trailing 21 of 24 developed-market peers, after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe decided to push ahead with a sales-tax increase and the U.S. shut down parts of its government. The equity gauge remains the best performer among the 24 markets this year.

U.S. Futures

Futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index slipped 0.1 percent today. The Labor Department’s report will probably show U.S. employers added 180,000 workers in September, the most since April, after a 169,000 gain in August, according to the median estimate of 93 economists surveyed by Bloomberg.

Nippon Yusen, Japan’s biggest shipping line by market value, dropped 2.1 percent to 329 yen. Mitsui O.S.K. Lines Ltd., ranked No. 2, lost 1.3 percent to 453 yen. Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha Ltd., the third largest, slid 0.8 percent to 237 yen.

Nisshin Fudosan jumped 13 percent to 792 yen after increasing its fiscal-year net-income forecast 50 percent to 2.4 billion yen. The property company also raised its sales target 12 percent.

Asahi Kasei

Asahi Kasei gained 2.7 percent to 749 yen. The Nikkei reported the chemical producer’s first-half operating profit may have topped 70 billion yen, an 83 percent jump from a year earlier.

EPS Corp. advanced 4.8 percent to 98,900 yen. The clinical testing company climbed after its rating was raised to outperform from neutral at Daiwa Securities Group Inc.

Among other stocks that fell, machinery maker Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. slid 2.4 percent to 2,759 yen after it was rated new underweight at Barclays Plc. Cawachi Ltd., an operator of drug stores, declined 1.9 percent to 1,944 yen after cutting its fiscal year profit forecast 21 percent to 4.8 billion yen.

The Topix traded at 1.27 times book value today, compared with 2.56 for the S&P 500 and 1.79 for the Stoxx Europe 600 Index yesterday. The Japanese gauge’s 30-day historic volatility was at 15.80, compared with its five-year median of 19.28.

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