Tuesday, March 12, 2013
Nearly 500 Japanese Stocks Rise To 2012-13 Highs
TOKYO (Nikkei)--As the Japanese stock market continues to rally, 496 shares on the Tokyo Stock Exchange's first section, about 30% of the total, rose to 2012-13 highs on Monday.
Gains in U.S. stocks and a further weakening of the yen encouraged investors to pour more funds into Japanese shares.
The Nikkei Stock Average climbed 65.43 points, or 0.53%, to 12,349, marking an eighth straight session of upticks for the first time in roughly 44 months. The transaction value on the TSE's first section topped 2.8 trillion yen, after nearing 4 trillion yen last Friday.
U.S. employment statistics released at the end of last week exceeded market expectations. With consumers there seen wielding more purchasing power, Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. (7270), which generates a large portion of sales in North America, rose to its highest level since listing in 1960. Its stock price has doubled since Nov. 14, when then-Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda announced the dissolution of the lower house.
Bridgestone Corp. (5108) and Honda Motor Co. (7267) shares also rose 85% and 60% over the same period, respectively. The yen's weakening to more than 96 yen to the dollar has created a tail wind for exporter stocks.
Buying by overseas investors is gaining momentum. "Purchases by long-term investors in Europe were especially notable Monday," said Takashi Fujikura, head of global equity trading at Daiwa Securities Co.
Expectations for aggressive monetary easing grew after Haruhiko Kuroda -- nominee for next Bank of Japan governor -- said at the upper house confirmation hearing that specific monetary easing measures should be discussed and determined soon.
As a result, the transaction values of Mizuho Financial Group Inc. (8411) and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc. (8306) stocks each topped 100 billion yen Monday, while many regional banks, including Bank of Yokohama (8332), hit 2012-13 peaks.
Companies that hold large amounts of real estate also continued upward. East Japan Railway Co. (9020) jumped to its highest level since the start of 2012. And Tokyotokeiba Co. (9672) went limit-up, with its stock price surging 190% since mid-November.
"The market rally will likely continue as expectations grow for the new BOJ leadership and the government's growth strategy," said Takeru Ogihara, chief strategist at Mizuho Trust & Banking Co.
(The Nikkei, March 12 morning edition)