Nikkei bounces as market awaits word on vote, tax; Sony soars on revenue plan

lunes 17 de noviembre de 2014 22:39 GYT
 

* Focus on Abe's possible announcement on election, tax
    * BOJ bought ETFs and J-REITs on Mon
    * Sony soars to highest since April 2011 on strong mid-term
plan

    By Ayai Tomisawa
    TOKYO, Nov 18 (Reuters) - Japanese stocks bounced sharply on
Tuesday morning as investors waited to see if Prime Minister
Shinzo Abe will call a snap election and consider fresh measures
to support the economy after it slipped into recession in the
third quarter.
    Sony Corp stole the spotlight, soaring 5.8 percent
to 2,464.5 yen, the highest since April 2011, after it said it
is aiming to garner up to $11 billion in revenue from its movie
business in three years time, a 36 percent increase over levels
forecast for the current financial year. 
    The Nikkei benchmark closed the morning session up
1.7 percent to 17,258.97 after tumbling 3.0 percent to 16,973.80
on Monday, its lowest since Nov 10. 
    Monday's decline came despite the Bank of Japan's ETF buying
operation.
    The BOJ purchased 38 billion yen of exchange-traded funds
(ETFs) as well as 1.2 billion yen worth of Japanese real estate
investment trusts (J-REITs) on Monday, as part of its recently
beefed-up economic stimulus campaign.
    In recent days, Media had reported that Abe could announce
his decision to delay the hike for 18 months as early as Tuesday
and call an election for parliament's lower house. Ruling party
lawmakers expect the poll to be held on Dec. 14.
    "The Japanese market had risen sharply so yesterday's shock
caused volatility. The market's focus now is whether Abe can
continue to draw support from voters, and what kind of measures
he will announce," said Isao Kubo, equity strategist at Nissay
Asset Management.
    Japan's economy unexpectedly slipped into recession in the
third quarter, after a hike in the national sales tax clobbered
consumption. However, despite the downbeat GDP data, some
economists are taking a more measured view of the outlook for
growth. 
    "Consumer spending recovered in August and September, albeit
gradually," Tomo Kinoshita, chief Japan economist at Nomura
Securities wrote in a report. He said a delay in the consumption
tax hike and yen weakness should help the economy recover.
    Exporters rose, with Toyota Motor Corp up 2.2
percent and Honda Motor Co 1.4 percent higher.    
    The broader Topix rose 1.6 percent to 1,388.01, and
the new JPX-Nikkei Index 400 gained 1.6 percent to
12,667.54.

 (Editing by Shri Navaratnam)