Tokyo stocks’ downside seen solid thanks to expected robust economic indicators

Jiji Press TOKYO (Jiji Press) — The downside of Tokyo stocks is seen firm this week, thanks to expected robust Japanese economic indicators.

Last week, the benchmark 225-issue Nikkei average gained 287.56 points, or 1.36 percent, to end at 21,469.20.

The advance chiefly reflected some receding of concerns over a global trade war stemming from U.S. President Donald Trump’s plan to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum imports.

This week, analysts expect the Nikkei average to move between 21,000 and 22,000. The outcome of closely watched U.S. jobs data for February, due out later on Friday, will be among major market-moving incentives, brokers agreed.

Early last month, U.S. and Japanese stock prices nose-dived as worries about a faster pace of interest rate hikes by the U.S. Federal Reserve grew after U.S. jobs data for January showed a steep rise in wages.

Similar tumbles “will unlikely happen again,” Mitsuo Shimizu, equity strategist at Japan Asia Securities Co., stressed. “The market has learned to be tolerant” about a faster pace of interest rate increase, Shimizu said.

Investor sentiment is likely to be lifted by such domestic economic indicators as a business outlook survey for January-March and machinery orders for January, due out Monday and Wednesday, respectively, Shimizu said.

He noted that these indicators are expected to be strong, reflecting the current brisk economy in Japan.

“I don’t think it will be easy for the Nikkei to retake 22,000,” Masahiro Ichikawa, senior strategist at Sumitomo Mitsui Asset Management Co., said, while predicting the market’s downside will be solid.

“Selling on a rally is likely to prevent the Nikkei from recovering” the psychologically important threshold, Ichikawa said.Speech

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