Japan’s Nikkei share average was flat on Friday morning as dollar-yen levels steadied after major economic events, while Nintendo hit new multi-year highs on ongoing hopes for a new title on Switch. The Nikkei was flat at 20,119.55 in midmorning trade. The index is on track to gain 0.9 percent for the week -where it touched its highest levels since August 2015. Exporters were mixed as the dollar steadied against the yen at 111.28, failing to provide catalysts. Toyota Motor Corp dropped 0.4 percent, Honda Motor Co rose 0.5 percent and Tokyo Electron Ltd shed 0.6 percent.
With monetary decisions by the U.S. Federal Reserve and the Bank Of Japan out of the way, investors are having a hard time finding catalysts for the time being, traders said. “It’s like the market has started its summer holiday early,” said Hiroyuki Nakai, chief strategist at Tokai Tokyo Research Center. “Even after the Fed raised interest rates, the dollar didn’t strengthen against the yen, so investors are finding it hard to chase Japanese stocks higher.”
Meanwhile, he said retail investors were seen buying certain stocks such as Nintendo Co, which surged 2.2 percent to its highest since 2008. The stock has stayed strong since it announced last week on Twitter that it would release Super Mario Odyssey for Switch on Oct. 27.
Underperforming the market were mobile phone carriers following an NHK report. The national broadcaster reported the communication ministry would conduct ‘administrative guidance’ to urge firms to improve explanations of their phone plans to customers before customers sign up for their plans. NTT Docomo fell 0.5 percent, KDDI Corp dropped 0.8 percent and SoftBank Group slid 0.8 percent.
According to NHK, the ministry conducted undercover investigation at 300 mobile phone shops nationwide earlier this year on whether staffers fully explained the plans. A total of 68 percent of shops investigated failed to introduce plans except for the one in which customers must pay penalty fees if they cancel their subscription within two years, NHK said.
The broader Topix fell 0.1 percent to 1,608.90 and the JPX-Nikkei Index 400 declined 0.1 percent to 14,307.62.