In­fla­tion fig­ures, US data in fo­cus for Tokyo in­vestors

Kuwait Times - - BUSINESS -

TOKYO: In­vestors will keep tabs on Ja­panese in­fla­tion fig­ures and hints of sup­port­ive gov­ern­ment pol­icy next week for key trad­ing cues, as well as the lat­est US eco­nomic data.

The United States is slated to release re­vised third quar­ter gross do­mes­tic prod­uct fig­ures and ex­ist­ing home sales data for Oc­to­ber. The num­bers will pro­vide more clar­ity about the health of the world’s top econ­omy, an­a­lysts said.

“The US econ­omy will be in good con­di­tion if the hous­ing fig­ures turn out well, giv­ing a sense of se­cu­rity to the Ja­panese mar­ket,” said Hiroaki Hi­wata, strate­gist at Toyo Se­cu­ri­ties.

“I think that in­vestors will also fo­cus on Ja­pan’s con­sumer price in­dex,” he told AFP, re­fer­ring to the Oc­to­ber in­fla­tion fig­ures. Ja­pan will also an­nounce un­em­ploy­ment and consumption data for Oc­to­ber next Fri­day. Yes­ter­day, Tokyo stocks closed at a fresh three-month high as last minute bar­gain hunt­ing erased losses from ear­lier in the day. The bench­mark in­dex dropped as much as 0.73 per­cent in in­tra­day trad­ing be­fore re­cov­er­ing into pos­i­tive ter­ri­tory shortly be­fore the close, ris­ing for the fourth ses­sion in a row.

The gains came as un­cer­tainty about the di­rec­tion of US mon­e­tary pol­icy faded to the back­ground on the release of the min­utes of the Fed­eral Re­serve’s Oc­to­ber meet­ing, said Hi­wata, who expects the mar­ket to break through the 20,000-point bar­rier.

The Fed min­utes showed US pol­i­cy­mak­ers were in­creas­ingly con­fi­dent in the out­look of the US econ­omy. The Nikkei 225 in­dex at the Tokyo Stock Ex­change gained 0.10 per­cent, or 20.00 points, to 19,879.81. For the week, the in­dex added 1.44 per­cent.

The wider Topix in­dex of all first-sec­tion shares fin­ished up 0.17 per­cent, or 2.80 points, at 1,603.18. Over the week, the in­dex rose 1.09 per­cent. “There’s a lack of cat­a­lysts for the mar­ket but some peo­ple might trade to ad­just their po­si­tions,” Ichiro Ya­mada, gen­eral man­ager of eq­ui­ties at Fukoku Mu­tual Life In­sur­ance Co, told Bloomberg News. “If the mar­ket is go­ing any­where, then up is the most likely di­rec­tion.”

In share trad­ing yes­ter­day, Toy­ota ended down 0.48 per­cent at 7,583 yen, while Nis­san dropped 0.38 per­cent to 1,304.5 yen and Sony lost 0.36 per­cent to 3,285 yen. Em­bat­tled elec­tron­ics maker Sharp soared nearly five per­cent on me­dia re­ports Thurs­day that it expects its TV making busi­ness to re­turn to profit next fis­cal year.

Sharp, which posted a whop­ping six-month net loss of nearly $700 mil­lion in Oc­to­ber, fin­ished up 4.76 per­cent at 132 yen yes­ter­day. On Thurs­day, the Bank of Ja­pan kept mon­e­tary pol­icy un­changed, say­ing the world’s num­ber three econ­omy “has con­tin­ued to re­cover mod­er­ately”, al­though it ad­mit­ted ex­ports and out­put had been hit by a slow­down in over­seas economies.

Of­fi­cial data re­leased Mon­day showed that Ja­pan fell into re­ces­sion in the six months to Septem­ber-the sec­ond time in Prime Min­is­ter Shinzo Abe’s near three-year premier­ship. — AFP

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