Japan’s Topix Index Little Changed as Utilities AdvanceYoshiaki Nohara and Eleni Himaras
Japan’s Topix index was little changed, after posting the biggest monthly gain since September, as utility companies led advances while fuel producers dropped.
Electric Power Development Co. gained 4.5 percent, leading utilities higher. JX Holdings Inc. dropped 1.1 percent after SMBC Nikko Securities Inc. said the oil refiner’s stock would underperform. Sega Sammy Holdings Inc. climbed 5.6 percent after Goldman Sachs Group Inc. raised its investment rating on the game maker. Gurunavi Inc., an online guide for restaurants, soared 18 percent to close at a record as Ichiyoshi Research Institute Inc. recommended investors buy the shares.
The Topix index was little changed at 1,258.94 at the close in Tokyo after rising as much as 0.4 percent and falling as much as 0.3 percent. It climbed 5.4 percent last month. The Nikkei 225 Stock Average was little changed at 15,655.07. The yen swung between gains and losses, trading at 102.42 per dollar after weakening to the lowest level since May 23 last week.
“Japanese stocks are really sensitive to the currency right now, moving along with the dollar-yen rate,” said Hitoshi Asaoka, a Tokyo-based senior strategist at Mizuho Trust & Banking Co., a unit of Japan’s third-largest bank by market value. “Shares are poised to have a correction after going up fast.”
The Topix rallied 46 percent this year, poised for its biggest annual gain since 1999. The measure traded at 1.27 times book value as of Nov. 29, compared with 2.61 for the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index and 1.81 for the Stoxx Europe 600 Index.
Capital spending in Japan rose 1.5 percent last quarter from a year earlier, data showed today. Analysts had forecast a 3.6 percent increase. Company profits jumped 24.1 percent, separate data showed.
The Bank of Japan won’t hesitate to adjust policy if needed to reach its 2 percent inflation target, Governor Haruhiko Kuroda said in Nagoya today. U.S. Vice President Joe Biden arrives in Japan on a trip to demonstrate American commitment to the Asia-Pacific and defuse tensions over a Chinese air defense zone that drew criticism from the U.S. and its allies.
Electric Power Development rose 4.5 percent to 3,160 yen, its highest close since Oct. 30, as Mizuho Securities Co. rated the company a ‘buy’. Sega Sammy jumped 5.6 percent to 2,851 yen while Gurunavi surged 18 percent to 2,970 yen.
JX Holdings slipped 1.1 percent to 527 yen as SMBC Nikko placed a 12-month price target of 500 yen on the company.
Shares of Genki Sushi Co. slumped 11 percent to 1,382 yen after surging 21 percent on Nov. 29, when the company said it was in merger talks with fellow sushi chain Kappa Create Holdings Co.
Futures on the S&P 500 were little changed today. The gauge lost 0.1 percent on Nov. 29 as investors sold shares in the final half hour of a shortened trading session, erasing earlier gains fueled by a rally in online retailers amid Black Friday sales.