The benchmark Nikkei average rebounded to retake 18,000 on the Tokyo Stock Exchange Tuesday, supported by buybacks after a sharp fall the previous day, but its upside was heavy.
The Nikkei gained 60.78 points, or 0.34 percent, to close at 18,026.48. On Monday, it lost 298.52 points.
The Topix ended down 0.17 point, or 0.01 percent, at 1,462.24, after falling 17.82 points the previous day.
The Tokyo market got off to a firmer start, with buybacks of oversold stocks after the previous day’s plunge.
Stocks extended gains thanks to the yen’s weakening against the dollar and on speculation of additional monetary easing by the Bank of Japan at its two-day Policy Board meeting to Tuesday, helping the Nikkei average briefly jump over 350 points.
But the central bank’s decision to keep its monetary policy unchanged led stocks to gave up gains, with the Nikkei briefly slipping below 18,000.
As the yen strengthened against the dollar, export-oriented names met with selling, brokers said.
“Investors bought back stocks on speculation that additional monetary easing steps could be taken under recent economic conditions,” said Masayuki Otani, chief market analyst at Securities Japan Inc.
In addition, a bank-affiliated securities firm official said that buybacks were prompted as Monday’s plunge in the Tokyo market was outstanding among other weaker global markets affected by China’s sluggish economic data released Sunday.
But Otani added that it was unrealistic for the BOJ to ease its already accommodative monetary policy further this time just before the U.S. Federal Reserve’s policy-setting meeting where an interest rate hike might be adopted.
“Far-fetched” hopes shrank, pushing down the Tokyo market in the afternoon, another securities firm official said.
The official added that the market was basically capped by a prevailing wait-and-see mood ahead of the Fed meeting later this week.
Otani said that more market participants now believe the Fed is unlikely to raise interest rates this time.
“But the market is expected to be pressured again later by uncertainty over the timing of an interest rate hike by the Fed,” Otani added.
Rising issues outnumbered falling ones 924 to 850 on the TSE’s first section, while 123 issues were unchanged.
Volume grew to 2,080 million shares from Monday’s 1,845 million shares.
Automakers Nissan and Toyota, tire producer Bridgestone, and industrial robot producer Fanuc were buoyant, along with electronics manufacturer Panasonic and air conditioner producer Daikin.
Also on the plus side were clothing store chain operator Fast Retailing, retailer Seven & i Holdings and railway operator JR Tokai.
By contrast, share prices fell for electronics manufacturers Toshiba and Sony, mobile phone carriers Softbank Group, KDDI and NTT Docomo, game maker Nintendo, megabanks Mitsubishi UFJ and Mizuho, and realtor Mitsubishi Estate.
In index futures trading on the Osaka Exchange, the key December contract on the Nikkei average finished up 60 points to end at 17,880.