The modest rebound comes against a background of a weaker yen, decent gains for the S&P 500 and Dow industrials, and a mixed bag of earnings results.
In terms of the yen, the dollar has crawled back up to ¥101.90 from ¥101.502 at the previous stock close. This is helping some of the tech names, with Renesas up 1.5%, Japan Display up 1.4%, and Tokyo Electron up 2.3% — this, despite losses for U.S. techs overnight. Then again, NEC is down 1.1%, Murata Manufacturing is down 3.4%, and Nidec is down 4.6%.
The auto shares are mostly weaker despite the softer yen, with Honda off 1%, Mazda down 1.4%, and Mitsubishi Motors down 0.8%. The sector’s gainers are Nissan (up 0.2%) and Toyota (up 0.8%), with the latter due to report earnings later today. Yesterday, the pair released their China sales results for April, which saw a 12% gain for Toyota from a year earlier, and a 15% rise for Nissan.
And in the “buy the rumor, sell the news” category, shares of Softbank are adding to their losses this morning, trading 2.3% lower despite posting a forecast-beating profit late Wednesday that confirmed the telecom had overtaken NTT Docomo to become Japan’s top wireless carrier. Much of this result, however, had been tipped earlier in the Nikkei newspaper.
In other earnings news, trading house Mitsui & Co. is up 3.6% after a fiscal-year net profit gain of about 37%. The results seem to be lifting shares of rivals Mitsubishi Corp. (up 2.6%) and Sumitomo Corp. (up 1.4%)
And then there’s Nintendo, its stock 4.4% lower after posting a loss for the fiscal year that ended in March (¥23 billion loss vs. previous year’s ¥7 billion profit), though it forecasts a return to the black for the current year.
Meanwhile, shares of Panasonic are weaker by 3.2%. Telsa, in its earnings call, confirmed that the Japanese conglomerate had signed a letter of intent to participate in Telsa’s battery-producing “Gigafactory” project. But Panasonic stock had already spiked sharply after word of the deal leaked out earlier this year, so this could be some profit-taking.