Technology Shares Lead Rally by Japanese Stocks as Yen Weakens

  • Yen extends fall against dollar after strong U.S. jobs data
  • Drop in Abe’s support ratings is a concern: Tokai Tokyo

What the June Jobs Report Means for the Fed and Bonds

Shares in Tokyo rose for the first time in three sessions as the yen slid following better-than-expected U.S. jobs data that backed the case for a moderate rate hike cycle targeted by the Federal Reserve.

Technology stocks provided the biggest support for the broader market, tracking their U.S. counterparts’ gains, while automakers also advanced on the yen’s weakness. Data on Friday showed the world’s largest economy added 222,000 jobs in June, topping the 178,000 median estimate from economists.

Concern over tapering that’s faster than the global economy could endure is receding, said Tomoichiro Kubota, an analyst at Matsui Securities Co. in Tokyo. “Buying is returning to Japanese stocks that took the heaviest blow from such woes,” he added, noting select technology shares are taking this opportunity for a strong rebound.

Fed Chair Janet Yellen is scheduled to testify before Congress on Wednesday. Investors are looking for clues about when the U.S. central bank, which lifted rates in June and signaled one more rate hike in 2017, plans to start reducing its balance sheet.

At home, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s approval continued to slip, with the Yomiuri newspaper reporting a disapproval rating of more than 50 percent. The drop is cause for concern, Shoji Hirakawa, chief global strategist at Tokai Tokyo Research Institute Co. said, because there’s a correlation between support rates and foreign investors buying Japanese shares.

Summary

  • Topix +0.5% to 1,615.48 at the close in Tokyo
  • Nikkei 225 +0.8% to 20,080.98
  • Yen -0.2% to 114.18 per dollar after falling 0.6% on Friday
  • A gauge of technology shares +1.2%; Canon +2.6%, Sony +1.7%, Fanuc +1.5%
    • Rohm +5.2% as Credit Suisse sees earnings boost from games-related sales
  • Toyota Motor +0.5%, Honda Motor +0.6%, Nissan Motor +0.5%
  • KDDI -2.7%; unveils cheaper data plans amid competition
  • Shipping companies Mitsui OSK +5%, Kawasaki Kisen +2.9%, Nippon Yusen +1.8%, after the three cos. formally announced their container shipping venture Friday and following Cosco Shipping’s $6.3b offer for Orient Overseas

— With assistance by Naoto Hosoda, and Yuko Takeo

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