Japan’s Nikkei share average rose briskly on Thursday morning to break a four-day losing streak after the U.S. Federal Reserve said the U.S. economy continued to strengthen, while strong blue-chip companies buoyed risk appetite.
The Nikkei share average rose 1.2 percent to 20,540.92 in midmorning trade.
Following its latest two-day policy meeting, the Fed said in its statement the U.S. economy and job market continue to strengthen and left its key interest rate unchanged.
“The Fed’s outcome was ideal for the stock market,” said Hiroichi Nishi, general manager at SMBC Nikko Securities, adding that market also takes comfort from Chinese shares which he said were stabilized for the time being.
Meanwhile, investors looked to Japanese blue-chip companies’ earnings for the April-June quarter.
Results were mostly positive.
Nissan Motor Co surged 5 percent after it said its first-quarter operating profit soared 58 percent, beating forecasts.
Nintendo Co soared 8.6 percent after it booked a profit for the first quarter, defying market expectations for a loss due to a weaker yen and strong sales of its “amiibo” figurines which are sold as accessories to its popular games.
Hitachi Ltd jumped 6.7 percent after its pretax profit soared 23.2 percent to 142.6 billion yen.
Panasonic Corp, however, tumbled 7 percent after its operating profit for the quarter missed market expectations. Operating profit fell 7 percent to 76.56 billion yen ($619 million) from the same period a year prior, compared with the 92.7 billion yen average estimate of 19 analysts polled by Thomson Reuters.
“Overall, we have a good impression of corporate earnings,” said Kazuhiro Miyake, chief strategist at Daiwa Securities. “We expect that Japanese companies’ April-June profits will see 20 percent increases on the year on average.”
Brokerages were higher as well, with Nomura Holdings rising 5.0 percent and Daiwa Securities adding 6.5 percent after reporting strong quarterly results.
The broader Topix rose 1.1 percent to 1,651.63, with 31 of its 33 subsectors rising.
The JPX-Nikkei Index 400 advanced 1.1 percent to 14,900.84.