Photographer: Kiyoshi Ota/Bloomberg

SoftBank Boosts Japan Stocks, Beating Impact of `Super Thursday'

  • U.K. election not a big factor for Japan investors: Daiwa
  • SoftBank accounts for more than 40% of Nikkei’s advance

Japanese equities rose as SoftBank Group Corp.’s climb to a 17-year high helped boost market sentiment as investors weighed a trio of highly anticipated events that had been referred to as “Super Thursday”.

SoftBank rose 7.4 percent to the highest level since May 2000 after Mizuho upgraded it to buy and Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.’s sales forecast beat expectations. The stock accounted for over 70 percent of the Nikkei 225 average’s 104-point gain. The Topix index closed higher after swinging between gains and losses, and the yen weakened, as the market continued to digest former FBI chief James Comey’s Senate testimony, the European Central Bank rate decision and U.K. election results.

“The U.K. election isn’t affecting the Japanese market too much, as no one’s been able to fully digest the situation as yet,” said Takuya Takahashi, a Tokyo-based senior strategist at Daiwa Securities Co. “Today’s rise is owed to SoftBank in Tokyo.”

“Nobody cares about the U.K. elections, really,” said Shane Oliver, head of investment strategy at AMP Capital Investors in Sydney. “If you’re a global based investor in Japan, does that really have an impact?”

In a speech at the University of Oxford on Thursday, Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda said the country had escaped from deflation but still had more progress to make before reaching its goal for 2 percent inflation.

Summary

  • Topix rises 0.1% to 1,591.66 at close in Tokyo
  • Nikkei 225 +0.5% at 20,013.26
  • Yen -0.3% to 110.30 per dollar
  • DeNA +4.5% after being raised to overweight from neutral at JPMorgan
  • Fujifilm -4% after Nikkei report that accounting problems discovered in New Zealand unit extend to Australia as well
  • Tokai Carbon +8.5% after Jefferies initiated coverage with buy rating
  • Toshiba +5.3%; Bain said to replace KKR in group bidding for Toshiba chips, Reuters says
  • Universal Entertainment -9.3% after it said unit Tiger Resort Asia may have improperly lent 2b yen to third party

For more on Japan markets:
Nomura Said to Find It Breached Japanese Law After Probe
SoftBank to Buy Robot Maker Boston Dynamics From Alphabet
Nissan Wins Converts in Japan With $27,000 Hands-Free Minivan

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