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.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Sport
Murray celebrates reaching the final
tennis
Arts and Entertainment
'The Archers' has an audience of about five million
radioA growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried
Life and Style
tech
News
news
PROMOTED VIDEO
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Arts and Entertainment
Henry VIII played by Damien Lewis
tvReview: Scheming queens-in-waiting, tangled lines of succession and men of lowly birth rising to power – sound familiar?
Sport
Harry Kane celebrates scoring the opening goal for Spurs
footballLive: All the latest transfer news as deadline day looms
Arts and Entertainment
Master of ceremony: Jeremy Paxman
tvReview: Victory for Jeremy Paxman in this absorbing, revealing tale
News
Sir David Attenborough
people
Life and Style
Young girl and bowl of cereal
food + drink
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

Recruitment Genius: Compliance Assistant

£13000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Pension Specialist was established ...

Ashdown Group: Market Research Executive

£23000 - £26000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Market Research Executive...

Recruitment Genius: Technical Report Writer

£25000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Technical Report Writer is re...

MBDA UK Ltd: Indirect Procurement Category Manager

Competitive salary & benefits!: MBDA UK Ltd: MBDA UK LTD Indirect Procurement...

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee
World War Z author Max Brooks honours WW1's Harlem Hellfighters in new graphic novel

Max Brooks honours Harlem Hellfighters

The author talks about race, legacy and his Will Smith film option to Tim Walker
Why the league system no longer measures up

League system no longer measures up

Jon Coles, former head of standards at the Department of Education, used to be in charge of school performance rankings. He explains how he would reform the system
Valentine's Day cards: 5 best online card shops

Don't leave it to the petrol station: The best online card shops for Valentine's Day

Can't find a card you like on the high street? Try one of these sites for individual, personalised options, whatever your taste
Diego Costa: Devil in blue who upsets defences is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

Devil in blue Costa is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

The Reds are desperately missing Luis Suarez, says Ian Herbert
Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Former one-day coach says he will ‘observe’ their World Cup games – but ‘won’t be jumping up and down’
Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

Greece elections

In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
Holocaust Memorial Day: Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears

Holocaust Memorial Day

Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears over Europe
Fortitude and the Arctic attraction: Our fascination with the last great wilderness

Magnetic north

The Arctic has always exerted a pull, from Greek myth to new thriller Fortitude. Gerard Gilbert considers what's behind our fascination with the last great wilderness