Wednesday, October 16, 2013
Nikkei Directionless On U.S. Fiscal Debate Uncertainty
TOKYO (NQN)--Tokyo stocks are moving in a tight range midway through the morning session Wednesday, with the Nikkei Stock Average briefly rising 50 points immediately after the opening bell before falling more than 20 points to hover around Wednesday's close of 14,441.
Investors are watching the U.S. fiscal debate more closely for trading cues as the Oct. 17 deadline for raising the U.S. debt ceiling approaches. Although there was a spate of buying immediately after the opening bell in Tokyo, investors became worried about committing too much to either position due to the cloudy outlook of the debate.
Uncertainty over the progress of talks to resolve the fiscal deadlock are sending jitters through the market. Republicans in the lower house proposed a plan aimed at raising the debt ceiling and ending the partial shutdown of the government. Democrat and Republican Senate leaders postponed their discussions to learn more about the plan, sending the Dow Jones industrial average sharply lower on Tuesday. Later, however, media sources reported that the lower house had given up its plan and that the Senate had resumed discussions. Some media reports said the Senate may announce an agreement within hours, prompting investors to buy stocks.
SoftBank Corp. (9984) and KDDI Corp. (9433) are rising, pushing the Nikkei average higher. Fanuc Corp. (6954) and Kyocera Corp. (6971) are also higher. Shares in Tokio Marine Holdings Inc. (8766), MS&AD Insurance Group Holdings Inc. (8725) and other insurance firms are also rising. Some real estate firms, including Sumitomo Realty & Development Co. (8830) and Mitsubishi Estate Co. (8802), are becoming buying targets.
However, Toyota Motor Corp. (7203), Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. (7270), Fast Retailing Co. (9983), Japan Tobacco Inc. (2914) and Olympus Corp. (7733) are all lower. Shares in steel firms, including Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corp. (5401), are also falling.