Nikkei bounces from 6-mth lows on strong U.S. retail sales, weak yen

lunes 14 de abril de 2014 22:19 GYT
 

* Nikkei sees technical rebound after rout last week
    * Exporters benefit from pullback in yen
    * Crisis in Ukraine limits gains

    By Ayai Tomisawa
    TOKYO, April 15 (Reuters) - Japanese stocks rebounded from
six-month lows on Tuesday morning after strong U.S. retail sales
data helped calm nerves amid the backdrop of an escalating
crisis in Ukraine.
     A pullback in the yen on revived risk appetite also
underpinned the Nikkei share average, which rose 0.8
percent to 14,023.46 in mid-morning trade. The index shed 0.4
percent to 13,910.16 on Monday, the lowest closing level since
Oct. 8.
    The improved mood in equities came after U.S. retail sales
recorded their largest gain in 1-1/2 years in March, helping
Wall Street bounce off recent lows. 
     The Tokyo benchmark tumbled 7.3 percent last week, hurt by
a rout in U.S. tech shares and doubts raised by Bank Of Japan
Governor Haruhiko Kuroda over whether the central bank will
deliver fresh stimulus in the near term. It was the biggest
weekly fall since the week after the March 2011 earthquake and
tsunami.
    Analysts said Japanese shares are enjoying a technical
rebound due to their cheap valuations, but added that worries
about Ukraine may check demand.
    "We saw the Nikkei dipping below the 14,000-mark and it was
shocking, so we may not see a big drop further, but gains may be
contained amid a lack of positive catalysts," said Hiromichi
Tamura, chief strategist at Nomura Securities.
    Japanese shares are trading at 12.5 times their expected
earnings for the year ending March 2015, while U.S. shares trade
14.9 times their projected earnings, he said.  
     On Tuesday, the market benefited from buying in index
heavyweight stocks like SoftBank Corp and KDDI Corp
, up 3.8 percent and 1.5 percent, respectively.
    The dollar edged up to 101.93 yen, moving away from
Friday's 3-1/2-week low of 101.32 yen on the back of the solid
U.S. data. 
    Exporters gained ground, with Hitachi Ltd adding
2.8 percent, while Sony Corp rose 0.9 percent.
    A weak yen lifts Japanese exporters' competitiveness abroad
as well as their overseas earnings when repatriated.
    Geopolitical tensions wasn't far off the radar, after
pro-Russian separatists ignored an ultimatum to leave occupied
government buildings in eastern Ukraine as a threatened military
offensive by government forces failed to materialize.
 
    The Ukraine crisis has contributed to volatile trade in the
past month.   
    The broader Topix rose 0.4 percent to 1,136.97, and
the new JPX-Nikkei Index 400 advanced 0.4 percent to
10,358.70.

 (Editing by Shri Navaratnam)