Nikkei rises to 2-1/2-week high, insurers support; Dai-ichi soars

domingo 17 de mayo de 2015 22:41 GYT
 

* Nomura's new mutual fund investing in high ROE firms in
focus
    * Takeda tumbles on weaker-than-expected profit forecast
    * Machinery data has limited impact on market

    By Ayai Tomisawa
    TOKYO, May 18 (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei share average rose
on Monday morning to a 2-1/2-week high, bolstered by gains in
the insurance sector after Dai-ichi Life announced
higher shareholder payouts.
    The Nikkei 225 gained 0.5 percent to 19,828.65
after rising as high as 19,849.75, its loftiest level since
April 30.
    Dai-ichi Life soared 10.4 percent to a record high of
2,194.5 yen after saying it will set a total shareholder return
ratio at 40 percent in the mid-term. It also said it will by
back up to 10 million yen of its shares worth up to 15 billion
yen.    
    "Investors finally started looking to domestic catalysts
after worries about volatility in global bond markets receded,"
said Hikaru Sato, a senior technical analyst at Daiwa
Securities.
    The Dai-ichi news rubbed off on other insurers, with Tokio
Marine Holdings rising 1.6 percent and T&D Holdings
 surged 4.5 percent.
    Sato said the market is also focused on a launch on Monday
of a large mutual fund by Nomura Securities.
    The size of the mutual fund, which focuses on Japanese
equities with higher shareholder returns such as higher return
on equity, is expected to be more than 50 billion yen, traders
said.
    Nomura declined to comment on the size.
    Exporters were among the main gainers in early trade. Honda
Motor Co rose 0.9 percent, Panasonic Corp 
added 0.9 percent and Canon Inc advanced 0.8 percent.  
    Bucking the broader market, Takeda Pharmaceutical 
tumbled 4.3 percent after the drugmaker issued disappointing
operating guidance for fiscal year ending March 2016, coming on
top of a net loss of 145.7 billion yen for the year ended March.
 
    It was hit by a $2.7 bln charge to settle claims involving
Actos diabetes drug in the U.S. after being accused of failing
to warn users the drug could raise the risk of bladder cancer.
    Japan's core machinery data announced before the market open
had a limited impact on the market. Machinery orders grew in
March for the first time in two months but they are seen
slipping in the current quarter, suggesting that weak capital
spending could further sap momentum from an economy struggling
to rebound from a recession. 
    The broader Topix gained 0.7 percent to 1,617.64 and
the JPX-Nikkei Index 400 rose 0.7 percent to
14,618.08.

 (Editing by Shri Navaratnam)