okyo stocks plunged more than 3% as a surging yen hit exporters on May 2, 2016
Paris - Arab Today
European shares rallied Monday in holiday-thinned trading ahead of key US and eurozone data despite a sharp drop in Tokyo as a surging yen hit exporters.
Frankfurt and Paris pushed slightly higher after ending last week deep in the red as markets eyed possible clouds looming on the global economic horizon and digested a shock decision in Japan.
Tokyo stocks plunged more than three percent leading a sell-off across Asia, also in limited holiday trades, after the Bank of Japan surprised markets by opting Thursday not to unleash fresh stimulus despite signs of faltering growth.
After Friday's public holiday in Japan, the Nikkei closed 3.1 percent lower Monday.
"We expect short-term share market volatility to remain high," Shane Oliver, the Sydney-based head of investment strategy AMP Capital Investors, told Bloomberg News.
"Failure by the BoJ to do more soon risks unwinding all the progress on inflation expectations seen under Abenomics, particularly with the yen breaking to ever higher levels," he added, referring to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's growth policy blitz.
But in the eurozone, Germany's DAX 30 climbed 0.7 percent, while France's CAC 40 rose 0.4 percent after both rounded off last week heavily lower as a strong jump in eurozone growth was offset by another fall in consumer prices.
London's FTSE 100 was closed for a public holiday Monday.
"Some disappointing earnings and a higher euro versus the US dollar probably led to profit taking in European equities despite a better than expected eurozone Q1 (first-quarter) GDP number," ING Credit Strategy's Quentin Gilletta said in a note to investors.
Despite Paris shares trading higher, a rise in the euro against the dollar was holding investors back, Philippe Cohen, of Barclays Bourse, said.
Investors were also likely keeping an eye on key manufacturing data in the US and eurozone due to be released later.
On Sunday, China released figures showing the country's factory activity eased slightly in April but continued to expand, helped by a recovery in the property market and indicating some level of stability was returning.
- Takata dives -
The yen has soared against the dollar since the BoJ decision, which came soon after the US Federal Reserve indicated it was keeping its eye on market movements before hiking interest rates again.
And it remains elevated despite Japan Finance Minister Taro Aso trying to talk it down by hinting at possible intervention if its strength continues.
On Saturday he said the rally was "extremely worrying", adding that "speculative moves are seen behind it".
"Tokyo will continue watching the market trends carefully and take actions when necessary," he said.
The greenback bought 106.49 yen Monday, well down from the levels above 111 yen before the BoJ's surprise announcement.
With the yen rallying, Japan's exporters were under pressure as it reduces the value of their overseas profits.
Sony and Fast Retailing each lost more than four percent, while Toyota slipped 3.8 percent.
Troubled car parts maker Takata plunged 9.3 percent after reports in various media said more than 100 million vehicles equipped with air bags made by the company are likely to be subject to global recalls, up from the current 60 million.
The auto parts giant has been hammered by an exploding air bag defect blamed for at least 11 deaths.
The selling in Asia came after US stocks ended Friday deep in the red as a weak consumer spending reading compounded a below-forecast economic growth result and an uninspiring set of corporate reports.
- Key figures at 1025 GMT -
Frankfurt - DAX 30: UP 0.7 percent at 10,113.84 points
Paris - CAC 40: UP 0.4 percent at 4,445.02 points
London - FTSE 100: Closed for public holiday
Tokyo - Nikkei 225: DOWN 3.1 percent at 16,147.38 (close)
Hong Kong - Closed for public holiday
Shanghai - Closed for public holiday
New York - Dow: DOWN 0.3 percent at 17,773.64 (close)