23 April 2019, Tuesday  |  
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Market Commentary - Foreign Markets  
Japan: Nikkei rises on weaker yen, upbeat offshore lead
(10:03, 15 Apr 2019)
Headline indices of the Japan share market advanced to four-month highs on Monday, 15 April 2019, as risk appetite buying boosted up on following Wall Street's solid lead late last week and yen depreciation against the U.S. dollar. Meanwhile, buying momentum supported by sign of some improvement in the Chinese economy along with the government efforts to support growth through easing policy. Encouraging developments in the U.S.-China trade negotiations also added to the positive sentiment. Around late afternoon, the 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average inclined 308.66 points, or 1.4%, at 22,179.22. The broader Topix index of all First Section issues on the Tokyo Stock Exchange rose 23.70 points, or 1.5%, at 1,629.10.

All 33 subsectors of the Tokyo Stock Exchange inclined, with shares in Mining, Marine Transportation, Insurance, Nonferrous Metals, Warehousing & Harbor Transportation Services, Machinery, and Securities & Commodities Futures issues being notable gainers.

Tokyo markets opened higher, after stronger-than-expected China data on Friday improved investor confidence. The broad-based improvement in the Chinese economy from manufacturing to producer price inflation in March has boosted the market sentiment suggesting that the economy is slowly moving towards stabilisation. The pick-up in China's manufacturing PMI since the last three months have provided some relief to the investors with the March PMI figure at 50.5. The Service activity in China also quickened in March at 54.8 confirming the stability in the Chinese economy. The service sector contributes almost half to the Chinese economy. Last week's encouraging New Yuan loans and money supply surprised the market positively posting increment of 1.69 trillion Yuan in March. Total Chinese Yuan loan in the first quarter of 2019 hit a record of 5.81 trillion Yuan. Also, total social financing, a broad measure of credit in the economy, increased by four times in March at 2.86 trillion Yuan since last month. This support implies a continuation of the recovery in the economy. Investors will look for further signs of recovery in the Chinese economy in the series of economic data due to be released this week.

Encouraging developments in the U.S.-China trade negotiations also added to the positive sentiment. Last week, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Washington and Beijing are making progress on a trade deal, which includes agreeing on an enforcement mechanism. Still, Mnuchin declined to say if the U.S. will use tariffs as an enforcement tool.

Exporters such as automakers advanced as the yen struggled near a 1-1/2-month low against the dollar. A softer yen is positive for Japanese exporters as it makes their products more competitive abroad and amplifies their profits when repatriated. Nissan Motor Co rose 1%, Honda Motor Co gained 1.1% and Toyota Motor Corp rose 0.65%.

Suzuki Motor Corp was down 4% after the company flagged an extraordinary loss of 80 billion yen ($714.54 million) due to the recall of nearly 2million cars related to improper vehicle inspections.

Japan Display jumped 2.5% following news that a Chinese-Taiwanese group will take control of the troubled display panel maker.

Vector Inc roared 10% after the public relations agency forecasts its operating profit will increase 40% in the year through February 2020.

Employment agency DIP Corp tumbled 17% with the company expecting its recurring profit to sink 17.3% in the year through February 2020.

CURRENCY NEWS: The Japanese yen depreciated around the 112 against the dollar on Monday, after stronger-than-expected China data on Friday improved investor confidence toward risk assets. The Japanese yen, considered a safe-haven currency, traded at 112.04 to the dollar, weakening from below 111.20.

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