Nikkei advances on weaker yen; investors await earnings season

domingo 26 de octubre de 2014 22:03 GYT

* Exporter stocks helped by weaker yen
    * Investors optimistic ahead of earnings season
    * Retail sales also in focus

    By Thomas Wilson
    TOKYO, Oct 27 (Reuters) - Japanese stocks rose on Monday as
a weaker yen boosted exporter shares and investors confidently
awaited upcoming earnings announcements.
    The Nikkei share index gained 0.5 percent to
15,366.39 by 0044 GMT.
    "Japan's our top pick market to buy back as we head into
earnings season," said Jonathan Garner, managing director of
research at Morgan Stanley, citing yen weakness as a driver of
profit growth.
    The Japanese currency traded against the dollar at 108.11
yen after touching a three-week low of 108.37, helping
exporter shares.
    Canon Inc added 1.2 percent and Toyota Motor Corp
 rose 0.6 percent, while Panasonic Corp ticked
up 0.8 percent.
    Investors also kept a close watch on the retail sector for
indicators of consumer demand, with department and convenience
store results seen as a key barometer of Japanese economic
    "The street's still looking for any bounce-back from the Q1
retail sales tax increase," said Gavin Parry, managing director
of Parry International Trading in Hong Kong.    
    Debate as to whether a planned second sales tax hike should
go ahead has sharpened amid concern at its likely negative
effect on Japan's already sluggish economy. 
    A senior government official close to Prime Minister Shinzo
Abe said over the weekend that the increase should be delayed by
eighteen months to April 2017 to avoid derailing the fragile
economic recovery. [ID: nL2N0SL04Y]
    April's hike badly hit personal spending, sending the
economy into an unexpectedly deep annualised contraction and 
undermining faith in the premier's signature 'Abenomics'
economic policies. 
    Outpacing the market was Fujifilm Holdings Corp.,
which added 2.9 percent after media reported that a subsidiary
that makes Avigan, seen as a potential cure for Ebola, is to
acquire a U.S. vaccine contract manufacturing firm.    
    The broader Topix added 0.6 percent to 1,250.25,
while the new JPX-Nikkei Index 400 also gained 0.6
percent to 11,378.94.

 (Reporting by Thomas Wilson; Editing by Eric Meijer)