Tokyo stocks fall as yen gains, Nissan surges on buyback

March 4, 2016 | 04:41 am PT
Tokyo shares gave up early gains to close lower Monday as a stronger yen dented exporters, but Nissan surged on news it will buy back billions of dollars worth of its stock.

Japan's number two automaker soared as much as 12 percent in opening trade, the biggest intraday jump since 2009, according to Bloomberg News. They finished up 5.45 percent at 1,024.5 yen.

After markets closed Friday, Nissan said that it would purchase up to 400 billion yen ($3.5 billion) worth of its own shares by the end of the year. Share buybacks tend to lift the value of existing stock.

Tokyo's benchmark Nikkei 225 index fell 1.00 percent, or 161.65 points, to close at 16,026.76, while the broader Topix index of all first-section shares dropped 1.02 percent, or 13.42 points, to 1,297.85.

Other Asian markets also broadly fell, after G20 officials disappointed investors by agreeing only vague pledges to boost global growth at talks in Shanghai.

Finance ministers and central bank chiefs from the world's leading economies met amid fears over slowing growth in host nation China, but they did not offer a coordinated stimulus plan as many investors had hoped.

"It's disappointing that there's no concrete measure outlined in the G20 statement," Shoji Hirakawa, chief equity strategist at Okasan Securities, told Bloomberg News.

Bank of Japan's negative interest rate policy announced last month was also widely panned as a desperate move to counter a slowdown in the world's number three economy.

Japan posted its first factory output expansion in three months on Monday, offering some rare good news after a string of weak figures threw cold water on recovery hopes.

"There's very little the Bank of Japan can do now to try and promote inflation expectations," said Chris Weston, Melbourne-based chief market strategist at IG.

On currency markets, traders moved into the perceived safe haven of the yen on Monday. The stronger currency is bad for Japanese exporters' profitability and tends to dent their shares.

The dollar slipped to 112.85 yen, from 113.97 yen in New York late Friday.

In other share trading, Toyota edged 0.21 percent lower to 5,897 yen, bank giant Mitsubishi UFJ fell 0.43 percent to 486.6 yen, while Sony was flat at 2,387 yen.

Nintendo fell 0.97 percent to 15,815 yen after the video game giant cut its full-year net profit forecast in half on Friday.

Oil-linked stocks slipped on Monday, despite a pick-up in crude prices. Energy explorer Inpex dropped 2.08 percent to 816.5 yen and JX Holdings was down 3.08 percent to 439.1 yen. - AFP

go to top