Japan’s Nikkei share average rose for the third session on Tuesday as a weaker yen helped exporters rise, while the steel sector got a boost with traders citing a brokerage report highlighting a positive reversal in steel prices. Goldman Sachs analysts wrote in a report that East Asian steel prices are clearly turning up after bottoming in early June. JFE Holdings soared 2.5 percent and Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corp surged 2.7 percent. The Nikkei gained 0.4 percent to 20,225.09 after hitting as high as 20,250.10 in the morning.
The dollar stood tall on Tuesday, hitting a more than one-month high against the yen as investors waited to see if Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen would stick to her positive economic outlook at an event later in the global session. The dollar was at 112.07 yen, the highest since May 24. Japanese stocks traded in a narrow 65 point range with few major catalysts from both the domestic and overseas markets.
“The fundamental mood is not bad, but it’s hard for investors to find a direction on a day where there is no other major catalysts other than a weak yen,” said Hikaru Sato, a senior technical analyst at Daiwa Securities. Exporters gained ground, with Toyota Motor Corp rising 0.7 percent, Panasonic Corp soaring 1.3 percent and Canon Inc advancing 0.8 percent. Financial stocks rose, with banks and insurers rising 0.6 percent and 0.4 percent, respectively.
Troubled air bag inflator maker Takata Corp, which filed for bankruptcy protection in the United States and Japan on Monday, tumbled to 110 yen, a daily limit low. Takata apologised on Tuesday to victims of its faulty air bags linked to at least 16 deaths and 180 injuries around the world. Executives offered the apology at the firm’s last annual shareholder meeting as a listed company. The broader Topix rose 0.4 percent to 1,619.02.