Tokyo Market: Exporters benefit from currency boost

JAPANESE exporters are likely to gain this week on expectations that the government's efforts to lead down interest rates will weaken the yen. Banks may fall as corporate shareholders sell before fiscal-year book closing at the end of this month.

Sony, Fuji Photo Film and other companies that rely on US sales are set to gain amid waning concern that a stronger Japanese currency will squeeze overseas earnings. The dollar rose to a three-week high of Y123.43 on Thursday as the Bank of Japan pumped in money, pushing down government bond yields.

While the benchmark Nikkei 225 index rose 3.6 per cent last week - rescued by a 5 per cent gain on Friday alone - the market may be held back in coming days by banks. The end of the Japanese fiscal year on 31 March is ratcheting up pressure on banks to cash in long-held stocks to offset extraordinary losses incurred in part as they restructure money-losing operations.

"You've got foreign investors starting to feel uncomfortable about Japan being so underweight in their portfolio," said Yoshio Inamura, a portfolio manager at Tokyo-Mitsubishi Asset Management, which manages Y20bn (pounds 101m). "On the other hand, domestic institutions are still looking for chances to sell before book closing."

The Nikkei is likely to move between 14,500 and 15,500, Inamura predicted. He expects trading to be volatile because next Friday is settlement day for March Nikkei futures and options contracts, and during the run-up investors will try to push the benchmark in line with their positions.

The broader Topix index of all shares on the first section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange gained 2.4 per cent to 1146.72. The prospect of a weakening yen and falling interest rates helping Japan's struggling economy may encourage investors to take another look at Japanese stocks. Also improving sentiment is news that Sony and Toshiba are working together to produce cutting-edge microchips.

Sony, which last week unveiled the successor to its best-selling PlayStation video game, said it will form a joint venture with Toshiba to make the high-performance chips that will power the new machine.

Falling yields on government bonds may spur buying of utilities such as Tokyo Electric Power that typically offer high dividend returns. At 1.99 per cent, Tokyo Electric's dividend yield is higher than the yield on the benchmark government bond, which Friday fell to 1.56 per cent. Investors looking for protection from earnings revisions will seek safety in drug makers and telecommunications companies.

Life and Style
life
News
Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie reportedly married in secret on Saturday
peopleSpokesperson for couple confirms they tied the knot on Saturday after almost a decade together
Life and Style
Chen Mao recovers in BK Hospital, Seoul
health
News
Joan Rivers has reportedly been hospitalised after she stopped breathing during surgery
people81-year-old 'stopped breathing' during vocal chord surgery
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebooksAn evocation of the conflict through the eyes of those who lived through it
Arts and Entertainment
tv
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Diana from the Great British Bake Off 2014
tvProducers confirm contestant left because of illness
Arts and Entertainment
Lisa Kudrow, Courtney Cox and Jennifer Anniston reunite for a mini Friends sketch on Jimmy Kimmel Live
tv
Life and Style
fashion

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Client-Side web developer (JQuery, Javascript, UI, JMX, FIX)

Negotiable: Harrington Starr: Client-Side web developer (JQuery, Javascript, U...

Structured Finance

Highly Competitive Salary: Austen Lloyd: CITY - An excellent new instruction w...

SQL Server Developer

£500 per day: Harrington Starr: SQL Server Developer SQL, PHP, C#, Real Time,...

C#.NET Developer

£600 per day: Harrington Starr: C#.NET Developer C#, Win Forms, WPF, WCF, MVVM...

Day In a Page

Ukraine crisis: The phoney war is over as Russian troops and armour pour across the border

The phoney war is over

Russian troops and armour pour into Ukraine
Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

The world’s entire food system is under attack - and Britain is most at risk, according to a new study
Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Seoul's plastic surgery industry is booming thanks to the popularity of the K-Pop look
From Mozart to Orson Welles: Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

After the death of Sandy Wilson, 90, who wrote his only hit musical in his twenties, John Walsh wonders what it's like to peak too soon and go on to live a life more ordinary
Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Fears are mounting that Vladimir Putin has instructed hackers to target banks like JP Morgan
Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years

Salomé: A head for seduction

Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years. Now audiences can meet the Biblical femme fatale in two new stage and screen projects
From Bram Stoker to Stanley Kubrick, the British Library's latest exhibition celebrates all things Gothic

British Library celebrates all things Gothic

Forthcoming exhibition Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination will be the UK's largest ever celebration of Gothic literature
The Hard Rock Café's owners are embroiled in a bitter legal dispute - but is the restaurant chain worth fighting for?

Is the Hard Rock Café worth fighting for?

The restaurant chain's owners are currently embroiled in a bitter legal dispute
Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival

In search of Caribbean soul food

Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival
11 best face powders

11 best face powders

Sweep away shiny skin with our pick of the best pressed and loose powder bases
England vs Norway: Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Lack of Englishmen at leading Premier League clubs leaves manager hamstrung
Angel Di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

Di Maria and Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

They both inherited the iconic shirt at Old Trafford, but the £59.7m new boy is joining a club in a very different state
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone