Japan’s Topix Index Closes at Highest Since 2008 on YenAnna Kitanaka and Toshiro Hasegawa
Japan’s Topix index closed at its highest since before the collapse of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. as a weaker yen boosted exporters and brokerages surged.
Toyota Motor Corp. climbed 2.9 percent as Goldman Sachs Group Inc. said the carmaker may raise its operating-profit forecast if it takes the weaker yen into account. Brokerages led gains as all 33 Topix index industry groups advanced. NSK Ltd., a ball-bearing maker, jumped 4 percent on a report its operating profit may double. Canon Inc. dropped 2.4 percent as the camera maker’s shares traded from today without the right to receive the next dividend.
The Topix added 1.7 percent to 1,279.34 in Tokyo, surpassing its May 22 closing high and ending at its strongest since Aug. 11, 2008. The Nikkei 225 Stock Average climbed 1 percent to 16,174.44. The yen slid to a five-year low against the dollar amid prospects the Bank of Japan will continue unprecedented stimulus while the Federal Reserve cuts back.
“There’s a sense of relief the yen is continuing to weaken,” said Mitsushige Akino, chief fund manager at Ichiyoshi Asset Management Co. in Tokyo. “With the U.S. environment improving and investors taking on more risk, we’ll see an acceleration in the yen’s slide next year. Investors may buy sectors such as banks, brokerages and real-estate on expectations the BOJ will add more stimulus next year.”
A Topix gauge tracking brokerages gained 5.1 percent, the most since June 10. Nomura Holdings Inc., Japan’s biggest company in the sector, rose 4.7 percent to 806 yen. Daiwa Securities Group Inc., the second-largest, added 5.5 percent to 1,056 yen.
Exporters gained. A measure of carmakers advanced 2 percent and the Topix Electric Appliances Index added 1.2 percent.
Toyota, the world’s biggest automaker, rose 2.9 percent to 6,340 yen. Full-year operating profit projections may be raised to 2.4 trillion yen from the current forecast of 2.2 trillion yen should the company assume the yen at 100 per dollar, Goldman Sachs analysts led by Kota Yuzawa wrote in a report dated today. Sharp Corp., which gets almost 60 percent of revenue outside Japan, advanced 1.9 percent to 330 yen.
NSK jumped 4 percent to 1,296 yen, its highest close since 2007. The company may double nine-month operating profit to about 45 billion yen, the Nikkei newspaper reported.
Some 144 companies on the Topix traded ex-dividend from today, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Canon sank 2.4 percent to 3,295 yen for the biggest decline on the Nikkei 225. Yokohama Rubber Co., a tiremaker that also went ex-dividend today, lost 0.5 percent to 1,028 yen. Trend Micro Inc., an anti-virus software company, slid 1.3 percent to 3,695 yen.
The Topix rose 49 percent this year, the most among 24 major developed markets tracked by Bloomberg, as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and the Bank of Japan took steps to end 15 years of deflation. The gauge traded at 1.30 times book value today, compared with multiples of 2.66 for the S&P 500 and 1.80 for the Stoxx Europe 600 Index on Dec. 24. Markets in the U.S. and Europe were closed yesterday for Christmas.