Nikkei turns up on report Abe moving to call election

jueves 13 de noviembre de 2014 01:57 GYT
 

(Adding factors pushing up market in afternoon)
    * Jiji report quoting LDP Oshima as saying Abe appears to
have decided to call election lifts mood
    * Takata jumps on Reuters report of changes to air bags
    * Third quarter GDP figures due Monday in focus

    By Ayai Tomisawa
    TOKYO, Nov 13(Reuters) - Japanese stocks rose on Thursday
afternoon as investors lapped up a media report that said Prime
Minister Shinzo Abe appears to have decided to call an early
election amid mounting expectations he would postpone a planned
sales tax hike.
    The report from Jiji news agency was the latest in a spate
of shifting speculation that has kept markets rapt this week. 
The Nikkei benchmark was up 0.7 percent at 17,322.10 in
mid-afternoon trade, after holding flat in the morning session.
    Jiji reported that Tadamori Oshima, a former deputy chief of
the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), said Abe appears to
have made a decision to call an election. 
    "As the Nikkei has risen above 17,000 and while most
investors believe that Abe will call for a snap election,
headlines suggesting the opposite could trigger profit-taking
and vice versa," said Kyoya Okazawa, head of global equities and
commodity derivatives at BNP Paribas, said
    Investors had taken a breather in early trade after a buying
frenzy in the previous two sessions, led by expectations Prime
Minister Shinzo Abe is preparing to delay a second rise in the
sales tax in an attempt to keep Japan's sluggish recovery on
track.
    "I think the mood in the market is that now we just have to
wait until Nov 17," said Nobuhiko Kuramochi, a strategist at
Mizuho Securities, referring to Monday's release of
third-quarter GDP figures, which could influence Abe's decision
on the tax and possibility of calling a snap election.
    Japan's economy likely expanded at a more muted pace than
expected in the July-September period, after a sales tax hike in
April sent the economy into its biggest slump since the global
financial crisis in the second quarter. 
    Amid growing concern over its likely negative impact on
domestic consumption, Japanese firms overwhelmingly support a
delay to the second tax increase, slated for next October. [ID:
nL3N0T06QV].
    Meanwhile, there was muted reaction to a batch of China
data, with industrial output and retail sales coming in lower
than forecasts. 
    Individual movers include Takata Corp, which gained
2.2 percent after an official told Reuters it had altered the
recipe of an air bag propellant that's been at the centre of a
recall of millions of cars worldwide. 
    Market heavyweight Softbank advanced 2.3 percent,
boosted by expectations of a delay to the sales tax hike.
    The Topix rose 0.6 percent to 1,385.75, and the
JPX-Nikkei Index 400 gained 0.6 percent to
12,659.35.

 (Additional reporting by Thomas Wilson; Editing by Kim Coghill
& Shri Navaratnam)