Topix Rises Fourth Day as Weaker Yen Boosts Exporters

Japan’s Topix index followed U.S. stocks higher, posting a fourth day of gains after exporters advanced on a weaker yen.

Sony Corp., a consumer-electronics manufacturer that gets most its sales overseas, added 1.1 percent. Obayashi Corp. jumped 3 percent on a report the general contractor has created robots for checking building excavation work. Aiful Corp. tumbled the most in more than a year after the consumer lender said quarterly profit plunged 71 percent.

The Topix added 0.7 percent to 1,270.50 at the close in Tokyo, with all but five of its 33 industry groups increasing. Volume was 9.8 percent lower than the 30-day average. The measure has climbed 3.4 percent this week, poised for its biggest such gain since April. The Nikkei 225 Stock Average rose 0.7 percent to 15,314.57. The yen slid 0.2 percent to 102.59 per dollar after falling 0.2 percent yesterday.

“The selloff in overseas shares has calmed and the yen is also weakening a bit,” said Mitsushige Akino, executive officer at Ichiyoshi Asset Management Co. in Tokyo. “When you think about the medium-term direction of Japanese and U.S. monetary policy, it isn’t unusual for the yen to depreciate.”

Futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index dropped less than 0.1 percent today. The underlying equity gauge jumped 0.7 percent yesterday to a two-week high after retail data boosted speculation the Federal Reserve won’t raise interest rates sooner than anticipated.

U.S. retail sales were little changed in July, the worst performance in six months, as demand for automobiles slowed and tepid wage growth restrained consumers. The slowdown in purchases followed a 0.2 percent advance in June, the Commerce Department reported yesterday in Washington.

Sony, Canon

Exporters rose. Sony gained 1.1 percent to 1,835 yen. Suzuki Motor Corp., which gets more than 60 percent of sales overseas, climbed 1.7 percent to 3,341.5 yen. Canon Inc., world’s biggest camera maker, added 0.8 percent to 3,399 yen.

Obayashi added 3 percent to 801 yen. The Nikkei Newspaper said the company plans to cut costs 30 percent by replacing half its skilled workers with the robots as early as 2015.

Japan’s machinery orders rose less than expected in June. Core orders, a leading indicator of capital spending, added 8.8 percent from May, compared with the 15.3 percent advance expected by economists surveyed by Bloomberg.

Thirteen companies on the Topix are scheduled to report results today as first-quarter earnings season draws to a close. Of the firms on the gauge that posted figures from July 1 through yesterday and for which Bloomberg had estimates, 58 percent beat analysts’ projections for profit.

Digital Garage

Digital Garage Inc. soared 10 percent to 1,810 yen. The Internet company forecast profit would rise 41 percent next year to 4 billion yen, compared with analysts’ expectations for a 3.3 billion-yen gain.

Fancl Corp. added 5 percent to 1,356 yen even after posting a first-quarter loss. Nomura Holdings Inc. raised its price target for the cosmetics producer to 1,300 yen from 1,200 yen, saying earnings will improve as the company disposes of unprofitable businesses.

Aiful slumped 16 percent to 447 yen after net income plunged to 3.6 billion yen in the three months through June from 12.2 billion yen a year earlier. Nomura lowered the company’s share-price outlook to 240 from 300 yen after the results.

Kyowa Hakko Kirin Co. sank 0.5 percent to 1,390 yen. The drugmaker’s shares were cut to underperform from neutral at Credit Suisse Group AG, which maintained its 1,150 yen price target for the company.

The Topix traded at 1.2 times the book value of its constituent companies today, compared with 2.7 for the S&P 500 and 1.8 for the Stoxx Europe 600 Index yesterday.

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