While helped by the overnight advance on Wall Street, Tokyo’s gains ignore a modest appreciation of the yen (dollar at ¥102.27 vs. ¥102.47 at yesterday’s close), focusing instead on some upbeat earnings news.
Among the big gainers, Fujitsu is 6.8% higher after returning to profit in the fiscal year that ended last month. Likewise, Nomura is 5,1% higher and Daiwa Securities is up 3.1% as the two brokers set multi-year records for their annual profit (Nomura had the best in 8 years, while Daiwa was the best in 24 years, though the latter saw earnings drop in the January-March quarter due to a weak stock market.)
Other financials also traded broadly higher, with Mitsubishi UFJ up 2%, Mizuho Financial Group up 1.5%, Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group up 2.1%, and among the smaller names, Bank of Yokohama up 1.4%, and Shinsei up 2%.
Toyota Motor is enjoying a 1.3% rise after a Nikkei news article tipped the company to post a 70% rise in annual operating profit. Still, it’s not the top gainer for the major autos — that honor belongs to Honda, up 1.5%, with the gains coming as the car maker says it will delay construction of a new Thai assembly plant.
Meanwhile, the top winners this morning appear to be the utilities, enjoying a strong wave of buying after some better-than-expected financial results. Hokkaido Electric Power Co. is rocking a more-than-12% rally after cutting its fiscal-year loss in half, while Kansai Electric Power Co. is up 7.5% — its loss widened, but it tipped a swing to profit for the current year.
In the same vein, Tokyo Electric Power Co. is up 2.1% (it posted a profit for the first time in four years), while Shikoku Electric Power Co.is 4.2% higher, thanks to a sharply smaller loss.
And rounding out the earnings-inspired stock-climb are the shippers: Mitsui O.S.K. is 4% higher, and rival Nippon Yusen KK is up 2.9%, with the market giving a thumbs-up to their results and outlook as economic recovery takes hold.