Tokyo's Nikkei ticks up after upbeat Japan business report

 02 Oct 2017 - 10:12

Tokyo's Nikkei ticks up after upbeat Japan business report

AFP

Tokyo: Tokyo's benchmark stock index rose Monday as Japanese business confidence hit its highest level in a decade, but Nissan slumped on news that thousands of its vehicles for its home market had been inspected by uncertified staff.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index rose 0.22 percent, or 44.50 points, to close at 20,400.78 while the broader Topix index edged down 0.07 percent, or 1.13 points, to 1,673.62.

Shortly before the market opened, Japan's central bank published its Tankan report -- a closely watched quarterly survey of more than 10,000 companies -- which showed confidence among major manufacturing firms had jumped to its highest level in a decade, as the world's number three economy picks up pace.

The strong Tankan report "should encourage investors to pick up ... individual shares that are expected to report good results" during earnings season, said Yoshihiro Ito, chief strategist at Okasan Online Securities.

But worries over a national election later this month were holding back gains, analysts said, with an upstart party led by the popular Governor of Tokyo, Yuriko Koike, seen making inroads into Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's majority.

Nissan shares fell by more than five percent in early trade, before ending the day at 1,084.5 yen, down 2.69 percent.

Selling hit the automaker after it said late Friday it would temporarily halt some vehicle registrations in Japan. The announcement came as it emerged that some vehicles for the Japanese market had been inspected by staff who were not properly certified for the task. 

The problem is likely to affect 21 models and thousands of individual vehicles, the firm said.

"The stock sold off because of uncertainties" over the certification issue, said Tsunenori Ohmaki, an analyst at Tachibana Securities.

The automaker may face penalties for using uncertified personnel during inspections, said Kenichi Hayashi, an official in the transport ministry.

Industrial robot maker Fanuc climbed 2.15 percent to 23,280 yen as the upbeat Tankan fuelled hopes for a rise in corporate spending, while industrial conglomerate Hitachi rose 1.29 percent to 803.2 yen.

Sharp jumped 5.44 percent to 3,580 yen on speculation that the company may be looking for a business partner for its next-generation TV production.

Toshiba dropped 1.26 percent to 311 yen following a news report that Japan's financial authorities may probe the accounting at the firm's hard-hit US nuclear business.

The dollar fetched 112.84 yen in Asian trade, modestly higher than 112.52 yen in New York on Friday.