The Tokyo stock market appears likely to remain on a roller coaster ride for some time, keeping the benchmark 225-issue Nikkei average seesawing between 13,500 and 14,500.
The Tokyo market bottomed out in mid-March, following the government’s stock support measures and the Bank of Japan’s quantitative easing of monetary conditions.
The subsequent round of stock price rises ended on May 7 when the Nikkei average hit 14,529.41, a level unseen since late December.
During the round, the market received strong support from high hopes pinned on new Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi as well as U.S. stocks that bottomed out for a rebound.
While the Nikkei average is expected to hover around 14,500 for now, the downside of the market will be around 13,400, as indicated by the rising 13-week moving average.
Attention is focusing on earnings reports announced by companies that closed their books March 31.
Reports released by late Wednesday show an increase of 23.2 percent in combined pretax profits over the previous year.
For the current fiscal year, however, pretax profits are forecast to decline 1.9 percent.
All eyes are back on the results of banks, especially on whether they are promoting the disposal of bad loans.
Investors are also keeping a close eye on deliberations at the Council on Economic and Fiscal Policy, which is set to introduce “big-boned” policy recommendations to Koizumi in June.
Among overseas factors, the National Association of Purchasing Managers Index, which is due out Friday, will draw attention as it is a reliable leading economic indicator.
Markets worldwide use the index to check U.S. economic activity, which is increasingly expected to bottom out.
Selective buying interest will be directed to information software companies due to their continuing growth, liquid crystal makers entering a recovery path, energy firms benefiting from advances in structural reform and deregulation, and companies whose earnings reports confirmed advances in their medium-term structural reform plans.
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