Japanese stocks edged up on Monday morning after sharp losses last week, but an upbeat Bank Of Japan survey had only a modestly positive impact on risk appetite amid lingering worries about the outlook for exporters.
Japanese stocks edged up on Monday morning after sharp losses last week, but an upbeat Bank Of Japan survey had only a modestly positive impact on risk appetite amid lingering worries about the outlook for exporters. Trading in Toshiba Corp also tempered the mood. The stock tumbled more than 7 percent and was the most-traded by turnover after sources told Reuters that the troubled Japanese conglomerate would likely miss a third deadline to report its quarterly business result.
That kept the Nikkei’s gains contained, up 0.3 percent to 18,965.52 in midmorning trade. The index lost 1.8 percent last week when it slumped to a seven-week low of 18,909.26. A closely watched central bank survey showed that Japanese big manufacturers’ business sentiment improved for a second straight quarter to a 1-1/2-year high in March, and was slightly lower than market expectations.
Market participants say that although the overall result was positive, worries about the outlook for sectors such as automakers tempered the enthusiasm. Indeed, U.S. President Donald Trump’s protectionist stance appeared to weigh on big automakers’ outlook, the BOJ survey showed, with the sub-index at plus 9, down 9 points from three months ago. “The figure is capping the upside in Japanese stocks,” said Yutaka Miura, a senior technical analyst at Mizuho Securities.
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For now, Miura expects the market to continue to take its cues from dollar-yen levels, a key focus for the export-driven economy. Japanese equities – and most of the global stock markets – have been influenced by broad sentiment around Trump’s early efforts to change domestic policies. The yen has been pushed around by the Trump factor, with the U.S. president’s failure to get a healthcare bill passed knocking Japanese and world stocks last week as investors fretted about his ability to push through economic stimulus measures.
For the short-term, investors are focused on U.S. economic data such as U.S. factory activity and jobs data, traders say. On Monday, 28 of Topix’s 33 subsectors were in positive territory. Food companies and mining stocks rose, with Ajinomoto Co gained 1.8 percent and Kikkoman Corp added 1.5 percent. Inpex Corp advanced 0.8 percent and Japan Petroleum Exploration Co was up 1.0 percent. The broader Topix added 0.3 percent to 1,516.42 and the JPX-Nikkei Index 400 rose 0.3 percent to 13,560.20.
(Editing by Shri Navaratnam)