Japan Stocks Cap Weekly Gain as Topix Market Value Hits RecordYuji Nakamura
Japanese stocks rose for a sixth day, pushing the market value of the Tokyo exchange’s first section to a record, after the central bank upgraded its outlook for the economy while maintaining stimulus.
Energy shares led gains on higher crude prices, with oil driller Inpex Corp. adding 2.4 percent. Nitto Denko Corp. jumped 3.1 percent after Nomura Holdings Inc. boosted its target price on the chemical product maker. Seibu Holdings Inc. plunged 11 percent after Reuters reported Cerberus Capital Management LP will dump as much as $878 million of the railroad operator’s shares. Skylark Co. also slid on news of a private-equity selldown, losing 5.5 percent.
The Topix rose less than 0.1 percent to 1,647.85 at the close in Tokyo, enough to push the market capitalization of first-section shares to a record 591.3 trillion yen ($4.9 trillion). The gauge advanced 2.5 percent on the week, the most since February. The Nikkei 225 Stock Average gained 0.3 percent to 20,264.41. The BOJ kept its asset-purchase plan unchanged, as predicted by economists, while improving its outlook on the economy.
“The slightly higher revision to the economic outlook is boosting business confidence, making it harder to justify selling stocks,” said Masayuki Doshida, a senior market analyst at Rakuten Economic Research Institute. “Growth in the first quarter was strong, but the rise in inventories is adding some worries about second quarter growth. That’s stoking some expectations for additional easing in the future.”
The Topix has rallied 17 percent this year. While the measure remains 43 percent below its 1989 bubble-era peak, the market capitalization of Tokyo’s exchange has regained those heights as the number of Japanese public companies more than doubled and businesses shifted to equity capital from bank financing.
The BOJ will continue to boost the monetary base at an annual pace of 80 trillion yen, it said in a statement Friday. All of 36 economists in a Bloomberg survey forecast the outcome.
Private consumption has been resilient, the BOJ said, removing a previous qualification that “recovery in some areas has been sluggish.” It said the economy has continued to recover moderately, omitting the word “trend” that it added after a sales tax was raised in April last year.
A government report Wednesday showed first-quarter economic growth was the fastest in a year, with a rise in inventories contributing to a large part of the gain.
Energy shares advanced after crude yesterday jumped the most in more than a month. Inpex climbed 2.4 percent, while Japan Petroleum Exploration Co. added 2 percent.
Nitto Denko rose 3.1 percent after Nomura boosted its price target for the shares to 15,000 yen, 63 percent higher than today’s closing price. The brokerage maintained its buy rating on the chemical products maker.
Seibu dropped 11 percent, the most since the company relisted last year, after Reuters reported that Cerberus sold 33.75 million shares at a discount to Morgan Stanley MUFG Securities Co. The brokerage later said it sold the entire stake.
Skylark dropped 5.5 percent after announcing Bain Capital will sell 44.8 million shares of the restaurant operator. Bain, which bought the company in 2011 and re-listed it in October, will remain its largest shareholder.
E-mini futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index added 0.1 percent after the underlying measure gained 0.2 percent on Thursday in New York, reaching another record.
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