Nikkei hits 15-year highs as financials, large-cap shares attract bids

martes 21 de abril de 2015 22:06 GYT
 

* Foreign investors said buying financial, large-cap shares
    * Next target for Nikkei seen at April 2000 peak around
20,830
    * Nomura up 4.1 pct, SMFG gains 4.0 pct

    By Hideyuki Sano
    TOKYO, April 22 (Reuters) - Japanese shares rose to fresh
15-year highs on Wednesday as foreign investors snatched up
financials and other large cap shares, believing them to be
undervalued.
    The Nikkei share average rose 1.1 percent to
20,130.75 points by late morning, its highest level since April
2000. 
    The next target is seen at its peak of 20,833.21 hit in that
month, at the height of global dot com bubble.
    "The market looks very strong at the moment, with large-cap
financial shares leading the gains. It appears foreign
investors' money keeps coming to the market," said trader at a
Japanese brokerage.
    Financial brokerage shares were the top performer
among the Tokyo Stock Exchange's 33 industry subindexes, gaining
3.7 percent.
    Nomura Holdings rose 4.1 percent while Daiwa
Securities Group gained 3.9 percent. 
    They were followed by banking, other financial
shares and insurers, which all rose more
than two percent.
    Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group rose 3.6 percent
while SMFG jumped 4.0 percent. Among non-banks, Orix
 rose 4.3 percent. 
    Market players say financial shares look relatively cheap,
compared to recent gainers such as drugmakers and food
companies.
    Many financial shares still trade at 10 to 15 times
earnings, whereas price-to-earning ratios for defensive shares
have shot up to 30 or above.
    In addition to banks, large cap shares outperformed the
broader market, leading many traders to think that foreign
investors who had underweighted Japanese stocks were now
bringing their portfolios to more neutral levels.
    The Topix core 30 rose 1.5 percent while the
broader Topix rose 1.0 percent, both hitting a 7
1/2-year high.
    Japan Tobacco, the sixth largest firm by market
cap, rose 3.3 percent to hit a record high.
    Japanese share prices have been supported by many factors
ranging from hopes of a recovery in domestic consumption, higher
shareholder returns and continued buying by domestic public
investors such as pension funds and the central bank.
    "There aren't any reasons to sell stocks on domestic front.
Nevertheless, if the U.S. economic outlook worsens, the market
cannot be immune," said Tsuyoshi Shimizu, chief strategist at
Mizuho Asset Management.
    Elsewhere, shares in Kyushu Electric Power Co rose
2.8 percent after a Japanese court rejected a lawsuit to halt
the restart of its Sendai nuclear station. 
    The JPX-Nikkei Index 400 rose 1.0 percent to
14,737.91.

 (Editing by Kim Coghill)