Tokyo investors eye Fed, BoJ meetings next week

GMT 12:48 2015 Friday ,13 March

Arab Today, arab today Tokyo investors eye Fed, BoJ meetings next week

Bank of Japan
Tokyo - AFP

Meetings of the US Federal Reserve and Bank of Japan will be key trading cues for Tokyo investors next week after the Nikkei broke the 19,000 level on Friday for the first time in 15 years.
Few expect policy action from either central bank, but investors are keen to see if the Fed offers more clues about an expected interest rate hike later this year, which has pushed up the dollar against the yen, amongst other currencies.
"The market will focus on the Fed next week," said Yoshihiro Okumura, general manager at Chibagin Asset Management.
"We haven't seen any clear signs of an earlier-than-expected rate hike but the market remains quite nervous about the US stance on monetary policy."
Markets will also be looking to comments from BoJ chief Haruhiko Kuroda to see if further monetary easing measures are in store to boost the flagging economy.
Some analysts say the Nikkei will keep marching closer to the 20,000 level, lifted by the positive impact of a weak yen on Japanese exporters and an expected pick up in consumer spending.
"There may be some adjustment in the market, but the current buying sentiment is likely to stay strong for the time being," Okumura said.
On Friday, the Nikkei 225 at the Tokyo Stock Exchange ended above 19,000 points for the first time since 2000 as foreign investors pile into Japanese shares and the country's public pension fund -- the world's biggest -- steers more of its bond-heavy portfolio into stocks.
The benchmark index rose 1.39 percent, or 263.14 points, to close at 19,254.25. Over the week, the Nikkei rose 1.49 percent.
The broader Topix index of all first-section shares added 0.89 percent, or 13.70 points, to end at 1,560.33. It rose 1.26 percent over the past week.
Factory robotics giant Fanuc led the Tokyo market higher as it soared 13.20 percent to 26,870.0 yen ($221) on Friday.
The spike came as Japan's leading Nikkei business daily published an interview in which the firm's boss said he was eyeing ways to boost shareholder returns, and said the company, long known for its secrecy, would set up an investor relations department.
That comes fewer than two months after US hedge fund Third Point said it had invested in Fanuc and planned to push for change, noting the firm was sitting on $8.5 billion in cash and had no debt.
Buying sentiment in Tokyo was also lifted by a surge on Wall Street, while in forex markets the dollar rose to 121.45 yen, up from 121.29 yen in New York.
The greenback's ascent against the yen is generally good for major exporters as it makes them more competitive overseas and inflates the value of their repatriated profits.
Panasonic shares rose 0.13 percent to 1,528.5 yen, Toshiba gained 0.57 percent to 479.1 yen, and Uniqlo clothing chain operator Fast Retailing jumped 1.67 percent to 46,275.0 yen.


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