Business / Financial Markets | TSE DATA & REPORT

Strong earnings reports and buying push Tokyo stock prices to highest close since early February

JIJI

Stocks gained further ground on the Tokyo Stock Exchange on Monday thanks to buying after rosy corporate earnings reports.

The 225-issue Nikkei average rose 107.38 points, or 0.47 percent, to close at 22,865.86, the highest finish since Feb. 2. On Friday, the key market gauge jumped 261.30 points.

The Topix index of all first-section issues was up 10.96 points, or 0.61 percent, at 1,805.92, closing above 1,800 for the first time since Feb. 5. It climbed 17.34 points on Friday.

Both the Nikkei and the Topix extended their winning streaks for a third session.

The indicators opened on a weak note, but soon bounced back onto the plus side, with the market’s downside supported by a series of strong earnings reports from major Japanese companies, according to market sources.

In the afternoon stocks gained further momentum on the back of purchases apparently by foreign investors, the sources said.

Brokers attributed Monday’s advance to sharp rises of cosmetics maker Shiseido and other companies that released brisk earnings reports Friday.

Stocks attracted “continued repurchases amid a global risk-on mood,” Tomoaki Fujii, head of the investment research division at Akatsuki Securities Co., said, indicating that investors who had been on the sell side moved for buybacks.

Fujii also cited investor hopes that the geopolitical risks involving North Korea will ease dramatically after a summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, set for June 12 in Singapore.

Still, the Nikkei failed to rise above 23,000. An official of an asset management firm said that the dollar’s rise above ¥110 would be necessary for helping the key yardstick reach the level.

Rising issues outnumbered falling ones 1,197 to 813 on the TSE’s first section, while 73 issues were unchanged.

Volume decreased to 1.51 billion shares from 1.66 billion on Friday.

Shiseido shot up 15.57 percent to finish above ¥8,000 for the first time ever. The company said Friday that its group operating profit in the January-March period soared 95.3 percent from a year before to ¥47.14 billion.

Real estate developer Mitsui Fudosan advanced 9.16 percent after announcing Friday that its consolidated operating profit for fiscal 2018 is projected to grow 1.7 percent from the previous year to a record ¥250 billion.

Other major winners included industrial robot producer Fanuc and mobile phone carrier SoftBank Group.

In contrast, optical equipment maker Olympus met with selling as its group operating profit estimate of ¥81 billion for fiscal 2018, announced Friday, fell short of the market consensus of ¥91 billion, one market source said.

Also on the minus side were clothing retailer Fast Retailing and semiconductor-related Sumco.

In index futures trading on the Osaka Exchange, the key June contract on the Nikkei average was up 130 points at 22,860.