Nikkei rises, snaps 6-day losing streak as yen’s rise pauses


TOKYO: Japan’s Nikkei share average rose on Monday, snapping a six-session losing streak as the strong yen trend paused.

The Nikkei rose 0.4 percent to 16,167.63 points by midmorning, bucking regional weakness.

It had slumped 8.6 percent in the past six session after the Bank Of Japan decided to hold off on expanding monetary stimulus and as a sharp rise in the yen stoked concerns about exporters’ earnings.

Analysts said investors were also less worried about last Friday’s U.S. jobs report after they took a closer look at the data, which initially pushed global markets lower.

Nonfarm payrolls increased less than economists expected, and April’s job gains were the smallest since September.

But the report also had some upbeat news, with both average hourly earnings and the average work week rising, and analysts said the overall slowdown in hiring may temper expectations for U.S. interest rate hikes.

“Investor sentiment has finally recovered. Unless the dollar falls below the 105 yen mark, the Nikkei will likely start recovering,” said Kazuhiro Takahashi, equity strategist at Daiwa Securities.

The dollar was up 0.2 percent at 107.36 yen. The dollar still remained within reach of an 18-month low of 105.55 yen plumbed last week.

Twenty eight of the Topix’s 33 subsectors were rising, with real estate shares leading the gains on a report that their earnings are expected to be strong for the year through March 2017.

Mitsui Fudosan Co advanced 2.8 percent and Sumitomo Realty & Development Co surged 1.9 percent.

The Nikkei business daily said that Mitsui Fudosan’s operating profit will likely rise by 10 percent or so in fiscal 2016 from just over 200 billion yen estimated for fiscal 2015.

It also said that Sumitomo Realty & Development looks to generate a group operating profit of around 180 billion yen in fiscal 2016, up 3 percent from the estimate for fiscal 2015.

Broker stocks also outperformed, with Nomura Securities

and Daiwa Securities Group both rising 1.5 percent.

The broader Topix gained 0.5 percent to 1,304.52 and the JPX-Nikkei Index 400 added 0.4 percent to 11,777.51.