Japanese Shares Rise Amid U.S. Gains as Investors Weigh Earnings

Japanese shares rose for the first time in four days, tracking gains in U.S. shares, as companies including Suzuki Motor Corp. and TV Tokyo Holdings Corp. gained on earnings.

The Topix index advanced 0.7 percent to 1,281.29 as of 9:08 a.m. in Tokyo. The Nikkei 225 Stock Average climbed 0.7 percent. The yen traded at 101.29 per dollar after weakening 0.4 percent on Wednesday. The S&P 500 Index climbed 0.3 percent on gains in crude prices and as corporate earnings helped boost financial shares. U.S. nonfarm payrolls data for July are due Friday.

Futures on the S&P 500 climbed 0.1 percent. The underlying measure snapped a two-day retreat on Wednesday in a late day surge as a rebound in crude oil boosted energy producers, offsetting declines in defensive shares.

Earnings season continues in Japan, with Toyota Motor Corp. scheduled to report after the market close on Thursday. Of the 256 companies that have reported earnings so far and for which Bloomberg has estimates, 54 percent have beaten analyst expectations for profit, while 58 percent fell short of predictions for sales.

Strategists and investors see the Topix rising to 1,350 by year-end, according to the median forecast in a Bloomberg News survey as of Aug. 3. The benchmark gauge has fallen 18 percent this year through Wednesday, the second-worst performer out of 24 developed markets. 

Source: Bloomberg

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Japanese Stocks Fall as Yen Climbs Before BOJ Policy Decision

Shares in Tokyo fell as the yen advanced before the Bank of Japan’s decision on adding to stimulus, with carmakers dragging the benchmark equity gauge lower.

The Topix index fell 0.4 percent to 1,301.98 at the trading break in Tokyo after rising as much as 0.2 percent. The Nikkei 225 Stock Average sank 0.4 percent. The yen added 1.2 percent to 104.05 per dollar. The BOJ makes its call on monetary policy Friday in one of the most highly anticipated announcements in recent months.

Any decision is likely to move markets, with the big question being whether governor Haruhiko Kuroda will opt for more stimulus or disappoint. An overwhelming majority of economists surveyed by Bloomberg expects the central bank to add to its record easing program.

A Kyodo News report on Wednesday cited Abe as saying that a stimulus package of more than 28 trillion yen ($ 267 billion) would be compiled next week. On the same day, a Nikkei newspaper report on monetary easing said BOJ officials were considering cutting interest rates further into negative territory, expanding government bond buying beyond 80 trillion yen annually and boosting purchases of other assets such as exchange-traded funds.

Source: Bloomberg

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