TOKYO, Oct 28 (Reuters) - Japanese stocks rose during light trading on Wednesday morning as earnings-related news nudged share prices higher, although many investors remained on the sidelines ahead of upcoming U.S. Federal Reserve and Bank of Japan meetings.
The Fed meets Wednesday and the Bank of Japan on Friday, with investors on tenterhooks for news of potential rate cuts and stimulus measures.
The Nikkei share average gained 0.6 percent to end the morning session at 18,890.21.
“The markets are still under the sway of fiscal policy at the moment,” said Gavin Parry, managing director of Parry International Trading.
“The focus is still very much on governments and central bank policy and there’s a lack of consensus on what policy outcomes might be, which has kept conviction down and turnover in the market low.”
Fresh data from the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry showed that Japan’s retail sales for September fell 0.2 percent from a year earlier but rose 0.7 percent from the previous month after flat growth in August.
Market participants said the retail data failed to impact the market significantly, in part because it had been priced in due to a six-day September holiday that comes every six years, which caused consumers to spend on travel rather than goods. The Topix subindex for retailers fell 0.1 percent during the morning session.
Japanese shares linked to Apple gained after the tech giant announced higher-than-expected earnings and revenue.
Alps Electric added 1.3 percent during the morning session and Fanuc soared 5.14 percent, despite reporting quarterly profits that missed expectations.
Market players said that Fanuc’s gains were helped by the fact that its earnings report was not as bad as many had expected.
Mitsubishi Motors Corp gained 7.3 percent after posting a quarterly profit that beat its own forecast.
Pharmaceutical shares led the morning’s gains, adding 1.4 percent as cautious investors continued to buy defensive shares.
The broader Topix added 0.2 percent to end the morning session at 1,546.18.
The JPX-Nikkei Index 400 rose 0.2 percent to 13,865.47.
Reporting by Joshua Hunt