Nikkei steady after strong U.S. jobs data; Chinese data dents sentiment

domingo 8 de febrero de 2015 22:27 GYT
 

* Weak yen supports the mood for now
    * U.S. rate hikes positive for Japan only if gradual -
analyst
    * Sour Chinese trade data crimps risk appetites

    By Ayai Tomisawa
    TOKYO, Feb 9 (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei share average was
steady on Monday morning as the yen weakened against the dollar
after strong U.S. jobs data, but gains were limited as weak
Chinese trade numbers capped risk appetites.
    The Nikkei gained 0.2 percent to 17,679.24 in
mid-morning trade after rising as high as 17,799.49, the highest
since Jan. 30.
    U.S. jobs data released on Friday showed a rebound in wages
while nonfarm payrolls increased more than expected in January.
 
    Shares in the U.S. fell as the better-than-expected jobs
report raised expectations the U.S. Federal Reserve will hike
interest rates by mid-year.
    Analysts said that while some investors took heart from the
weakening yen after the U.S. data, others are concerned that
liquidity may shrink in the global market if the Fed increases
rates too soon.
    "A U.S. rate hike is positive for the Japanese market only
when rates are gradually rising," said Norihiro Fujito, senior
investment strategist at Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley
Securities.
    "The U.S. is trying to increase rates sooner than expected
while central banks around the world are easing monetary
policy... there are concerns that it may create volatility in
the global market," he said.
    Chinese January trade data which was published on Sunday
dented sentiment and limited gains. It showed China's trade
performance slumped in January, with exports falling 3.3 percent
from year-ago levels while imports tumbled 19.9 percent.
 
    Exporters were strong after the dollar scaled a
one-month high of 119.23 yen on Friday. During Asian trade, it
was at 118.85 yen.
    Honda Motor Co rose 0.9 percent and Nissan Motor Co
 gained 1.1 percent.
    Nippon Telegraph & Telephone Corp jumped 4.3
percent to 7,174 yen, the highest since December 2001 despite
dismal earnings by its mobile business unit NTT Docomo Inc
. 
    SMBC Nikko Securities wrote in a report that NTT Docomo's
bad result is seen bottoming out soon.       
    The broader Topix added 0.3 percent to 1,421.37, and
the JPX-Nikkei Index 400 gained 0.3 percent to
12,884.64.

 (Editing by Richard Borsuk)