Nikkei rises as machinery data offsets Wall Street losses

martes 10 de marzo de 2015 22:03 GYT

* Better-than-expected machinery data helps the mood
    * "Side effects" from weak yen starting to be seen - analyst

    By Ayai Tomisawa
    TOKYO, March 11 (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei share average
rose on Wednesday, with better-than-expected machinery orders
offsetting the downdraft from weaker U.S. markets, which fell on
growing views that the Federal Reserve may raise rates as soon
as June.
    The Nikkei was up 0.5 percent at 18,754.67 points by
mid-morning after traversing positive and negative territories.
    Last Friday's stronger-than-expected U.S. jobs data has
raised expectations for an early U.S. rate hike. As a result,
the S&P 500 posted its biggest decline in two months
overnight, while the worries pushed the dollar to a nearly
eight-year high of 122.04 yen t.
    Analysts said that although a weak yen generally lifts
Japanese exporters' profits made overseas, a steep drop in the
yen stokes concerns that it would drive up import costs.
    "The market started to worry about side effects from a
further slide in the yen," said Hiroichi Nishi, general manager
at SMBC Nikko Securities, adding that there are also concerns
that a stronger dollar hurts U.S. multinational companies'
    On the other hand, hopes for Japan's economic recovery
supported the mood. 
    Core machinery orders fell 1.7 percent in January, but the
decrease was smaller than a median market forecast for a 4.1
percent drop, offering some hope on the outlook for capital
    "This outcome was good, especially because it was after
sentiment was dented by a weak revised GDP data earlier this
week," said Isao Kubo, equity strategist at Nissay Asset
    On Monday, data showed Japan's economy grew less than
initially reported in the fourth quarter as capital expenditure
declined, in a worrying sign that a rebound in consumer spending
is not encouraging business investment. 
    Exporters were mixed, with Toyota Motor Corp 
falling 0.1 percent, Honda Motor Co dropping 0.6
percent and Canon Inc gaining 0.2 percent.
    Domestic-demand sensitive stocks such as food companies and
real estate shares attracted buying. Ajinomoto Co rose
2.8 percent and Mitsui Fudosan Co gained 1.1 percent.
    The broader Topix gained 0.3 percent to 1,528.76 and
the JPX-Nikkei Index 400 added 0.3 percent to

 (Editing by Kim Coghill)