Tokyo stocks close 0.11pc higher

April 30, 2014 - 10:40:38 am

TOKYO: Tokyo stocks ended higher Wednesday, with early gains squeezed after the yen rose on the Bank of Japan's decision to hold off expanding its stimulus programme.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index closed up 0.11 percent, or 15.88 points, at 14,304.11, while the Topix index of all first-section shares added 0.15 percent, or 1.70 points, to 1,162.44.

The Bank of Japan stood pat on its asset-purchases despite tepid industrial production data and a recent sales tax rise that have fanned fears over the strength of the country's recovery.

After the BoJ announcement, the greenback weakened to 102.41 yen, down from 102.64 in New York Tuesday.

A stronger yen is bad for Japanese exporters as it makes them less competitive overseas and squeezes repatriated profit.

The market fell 0.98 percent Monday and was closed Tuesday for a holiday.

After Monday's decline, "a lot of the possible downside slack had already been taken out of the market, leaving room for very light buying back of old positions," Investrust CEO Hiroyuki Fukunaga told Dow Jones Newswires.

"The trend of the market is still range-bound to slightly down.

"Japanese corporate earnings reports have not been altogether good; it may take a corporate tax cut to generate long interest in the market, but this won't likely appear any time before June."

Before the opening bell, government data showed Japan's factory output rose 0.3 percent in March, but the weaker-than-expected result was likely to fan fears over the country's nascent recovery.

Producers' confidence stumbled, with a survey accompanying the data showing they expected factory output to shrink 1.4 percent in April and inch up just 0.1 percent in May.

In share trading, Canon finished 0.72 percent higher at 3,215 yen while Toyota gained 0.78 percent to 5,516 yen.

Japan Display shares fell 6.25 percent to 630 yen after sliding nearly 16 percent Monday following a cut to its annual profit forecast.

The downgrade came just over a month after the world's biggest maker of screens for smartphones and tablets and a key Apple supplier listed its shares in Tokyo following a $3.2 billion initial public offering.

The shares plunged on their market debut and remain well below a 900 yen listing price. (AFP)