Tokyo investors eye central bank policy meeting
October 05 2014 08:11 PM
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The Japanese stock index lost 3.21% over the week after touching near seven-year highs last month.

AFP/Tokyo

The release of US economic data, which will give a better idea about the state of the US economy, will be in focus for Japanese investors this week, as the Bank of Japan (BoJ) prepares to hold its latest policy meeting.

Japanese machinery orders and consumer confidence will also be on radar screens as speculation increases that the BoJ will expand its stimulus to counter an economic downturn.

On Friday, the benchmark Nikkei stock index, which was in negative territory at the break, added 0.30%, or 46.66 points, to finish at 15,708.65.

But the index lost 3.21% over the week after touching near seven-year highs last month.

The broader Topix index of all first-section shares rose 0.19%, or 2.39 points, to 1,282.54. Over the week, it dropped 3.71%.

“Overseas investors aren’t doing much in wait for the US non-farm payrolls data due later tonight,” said an equity trading director at a European brokerage.

“As Japanese exporters are starting to publish earnings revisions, the scale of their view changes could have a profound impact in justifying current stock prices, as things currently look fully valued,” the trader told Dow Jones Newswires.

The yen’s recent weakness, which lifts exporters’ profitability, may see firms boost their earnings expectations as they report financial results later this month.

The BoJ’s two-day policy meeting ends on Tuesday and will be followed by Governor Haruhiko Kuroda’s regular news conference.

“The focus will be what BoJ governor Kuroda says in his press conference,” Nomura Securities said in a report.

The Nikkei dropped 2.61% Thursday, falling below the 16,000 level after a global equity market selloff.

The dollar backed off Thursday, a day after breaking the ¥110 barrier for the first time in more than six years.

However, it recovered slightly Friday to sit at ¥108.90, against ¥108.42 in New York.

In share trading, Toyota closed up 0.23% at ¥6,290.0, Sony fell 0.49% to ¥1,895.0 and Hitachi was up 0.01% to ¥813.2.

Mobile carrier SoftBank fell 0.73% to ¥7,439.0 after saying Thursday it was investing $250mn and forming a joint venture with Hollywood film studio Legendary Entertainment.

Legendary’s catalogue includes a recent re-make of “Godzilla” as well as Superman film “Man of Steel”.

Skymark Airlines soared 8.37% to ¥220, adding to a 3.57% rise on Thursday.

The stock rose on reports that Airbus had agreed to significantly reduce a penalty against the carrier over the cancellation of a $2.2bn jet deal.

The airline later confirmed that the firms were in talks, but it declined to comment further.

 

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