Economy 2 MIN READ

Japan’s Nikkei trims gains as traders eye earnings, BOJ; airlines soar

April 24, 2023By Reuters

By Kevin Buckland

Japan’s Nikkei share average trimmed some early gains on Monday, as the mood turned more cautious in the afternoon session, with investors casting an eye ahead to corporate earnings and a central bank meeting due later in the week.

Airline ANA Holdings remained a standout winner though after raising profit guidance, with other tourism-related stocks also firm amid optimism over increasing visitor numbers.

The Nikkei .N225 ended the day up 0.1% at 28,593.52 after paring gains in the afternoon session. In the morning it had hit a high of 28,680.65, taking it close to Friday’s eight-month peak of 28,778.37.

The broader Topix .TOPX rose 0.11% to 2,037.34, also well back from the morning’s highs.

Motor-maker Nidec 6502.T rallied 1.11% before headlining the handful of companies reporting earnings on Monday. On Thursday, more than 100 companies report, and that tally doubles on Friday.

The Bank of Japan also sets policy on Friday, with new governor Kazuo Ueda chairing his first meeting. While the consensus is for no change, analysts and investors are wary of surprises, like the unexpected widening of the 10-year bond yield policy band in December.

“It’s very likely that Japanese stock investors will shift to a wait-and-see stance,” said Maki Sawada, a strategist at Nomura Securities. “Moves are likely to be relatively muted.”

Air transport .IAIRL.T was the top performer among the Tokyo Stock Exchange’s 33 industry sectors, rising 2.93%.

ANA Holdings 9202.T gained 3.74%. Peer Japan Airlines 9201.T rose 1.95%.

Rail operators .IRAIL.T also did well amid an improving outlook for tourism income, after figures last week showed an increase in foreign visitors. West Japan Railway Co 9021.T led gains for the sector, rising 2.2%.

Department store operators advanced, including a 1.71% appreciation for Marui Group Co. 8252.T.

The biggest losers on Monday were shippers .ISHIP.T, sliding 3.18%. Among them, Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha 9107.T was the worst performer, dropping 3.92%.

Chip-related stocks also tracked losses for U.S. peers from Friday, with chip-making equipment giant Tokyo Electron 8035.T declining 1.92% and chip-testing equipment manufacturer Advantest 6857.T down 2.32%.

(Reporting by Kevin Buckland; editing by Nivedita Bhattacharjee)


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