Business / Financial Markets | TSE DATA & REPORT

Tokyo stocks buoyed by weaker yen

JIJI

Stocks rose on the Tokyo Stock Exchange Monday, aided by the yen’s weakening against the dollar following the release of strong economic data in the United States.

The 225-issue Nikkei average advanced 95.38 points, or 0.46 percent, to end at 20,883.77. On Friday, the key market gauge added 14.90 points.

The Topix index of all first-section issues was up 16.70 points, or 1.07 percent, at 1,581.33, after losing 2.86 points the previous session.

A wide range of issues attracted purchases from the outset, after the Dow Jones industrial average on the New York Stock Exchange rebounded Friday on strong jobs and manufacturing data for January released by the U.S. government and the Institute for Supply Management, respectively.

Given those figures, investors turned less concerned about the course of the U.S. economy, brokers said.

After the initial spurt, stocks lost upward momentum due to a lack of fresh buying incentives. But the market remained buoyant throughout the day’s trading thanks to the weaker yen, they said.

“Moves to ‘sell on a rally’ became visible as the Nikkei neared 21,000,” said Yutaka Miura, senior technical analyst at Mizuho Securities Co.

The Nikkei cannot retake the psychologically important threshold this week “unless the Dow gains 200 to 300 points and the dollar hits ¥110,” he added.

Even if the benchmark index breaks the 21,000 line, it could be pushed back soon by selling amid the spread of “a sense of achievement” among investors, said Yoshihiko Tabei, chief analyst at Naito Securities Co.

Rising issues overwhelmed falling ones 1,888 to 203 in the TSE’s first section, while 36 issues were unchanged.

Volume decreased to 1.33 billion shares from Friday’s 1.42 billion shares.

Electronics giant Hitachi jumped 4.11 percent in the wake of its upward revision of earnings forecasts for the current business year to March.

Drugmaker Eisai rose 3.07 percent on its brisk April-December earnings.

Other major winners included chipmaking gear manufacturer Tokyo Electron and game-maker Nintendo.

Meanwhile, Sony plunged 8.07 percent due to disappointing earnings figures for April-December.

Honda lost 3.48 percent as the automaker’s net profit estimate for the year to March failed to beat a market consensus.

Also on the minus side were clothing retailer Fast Retailing and industrial robot producer Fanuc.

In index futures trading on the Osaka Exchange, the key March contract on the Nikkei average rose 130 points to end at 20,850.