Nikkei up 0.4% after Bank of Japan’s survey shows optimism

Nikkei up 0.4% after Bank of Japan’s survey shows optimism

Tokyo: Japan’s Nikkei rose 0.4% on Monday (1 October) as investors bought Fanuc and other large-cap shares after the Bank of Japan’s tankan survey showed manufacturers remained optimistic despite turmoil in global credit markets.

The tankan’s headline diffusion index for big manufacturers’ sentiment was plus 23, slightly above the market’s median forecast of plus 22 and matching the previous survey’s reading in June.

Stocks dipped briefly at the open and then recovered, helped by rises in large-cap shares including Kyocera Corp.

Still, market participants said the tankan’s impact on the market would probably be limited.

“It’s neither negative or positive. While the tankan shows relatively solid sentiment at hand, it points to a weak outlook," said Yusuke Sakai, manager of equities trading at Mizuho Securities.

The diffusion index for big manufacturers’ sentiment for December was seen at plus 19, showing the firms expect conditions to worsen over the next three months for the fifth straight quarter.

With few leads to determine the moves of the overall market, investors are shifting their focus on earnings of individual companies, Sakai said.

“Investors are aggressively dumping shares of companies with poor earnings such as IHI and Fuji Electric and buying solid ones like Fanuc," Sakai said.

The benchmark Nikkei ended the morning session up 65.66 points at 16,851.35. The broader TOPIX index was up 0.1% at 1,618.54.

Trade slowed with 780.6 million shares changing hands on the Tokyo exchange’s first section, compared with last week’s morning average of 876.2 million. Advancing stocks beat declining ones by 867 to 714.

Shares of Mitsubishi Motors jumped 5.7% to 185 yen after the automaker tripled its group operating profit forecast for the first half.