Sydney - Japanese stocks rose, with the Topix index climbing a third day, after the yen weakened past 100 per dollar and US President Barack Obama said he’s asked Congress to delay a vote authorising force against Syria.
Mazda Motor Corp., a carmaker that gets more than 70 percent of sales outside Japan, gained 3.1 percent.
Daikin Industries Ltd., which counts China as its biggest overseas market, increased 4.1 percent after data yesterday showed the country’s factory output accelerated at the fastest pace in 17 months and retail sales beat estimates.
Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha Ltd., Japan’s No. 3 shipper, fell the most on the Nikkei 225 Stock Average after announcing a plan to sell convertible bonds.
The Topix gained 0.5 percent to 1,195.67 at 12:46 p.m. in Tokyo.
The yen traded at 100.49 per dollar.
The Nikkei 225 added 0.9 percent to 14,549.81.
In a speech in Washington, Obama called for a pause in authorising military strikes to pursue “encouraging signs” of a possible diplomatic solution to the confrontation over the alleged use of chemical weapons.
“Investors are taking on more risk amid a global stock rally as concern recedes over military intervention,” said Hiroichi Nishi, a Tokyo-based equities manager at SMBC Nikko Securities Inc., a unit of Japan’s second-biggest lender.
“That’s pushing the yen downward, which is raising expectations for higher earnings at Japanese exporters.”
The Topix surged 38 percent this year through yesterday, with Japanese equities performing the best among developed markets tracked by Bloomberg, amid optimism Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and the Bank of Japan can lead the country out of deflation through unprecedented monetary easing.
Japan will prepare a stimulus package to counter the blow of raising the sales tax, Finance Minister Taro Aso said yesterday.
Economy Minister Akira Amari said on September 9, Abe will probably decide on October 1 whether to push ahead with a planned increase in the levy.
Futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index slid 0.1 percent.
The measure climbed yesterday in New York, extending the longest winning streak since July.
In the past day and a half, the threat of an imminent military strike receded as diplomatic negotiations unfolded in a standoff over Syria’s chemical-weapons stockpile.
The US president said America would “work together in consultation with Russia and China at the UN Security Council” to get rid of Syrian chemical weapons and “ultimately destroy them under international control.”
Japanese suppliers of Apple Inc. retreated today after the maker of the iPhone unveiled new models.
Murata Manufacturing Co., which sells electronic components and counts Apple as its biggest customer, fell 2.8 percent to 7,080 yen.
Mitsumi Electric Co. sank 3.3 percent to 745 yen.
Olympics-related stocks were mixed.
Taisei Corp. and Kajima Corp., builders that led gains on the Nikkei 225 for the past two days after Tokyo won the hosting rights for the 2020 Games, each fell at least 2.6 percent.
Dentsu Inc., which has broadcast rights for the games, climbed 1.8 percent to 3,685 yen.
Imperial Hotel Ltd., which is expected to benefit from an influx of overseas visitors, surged 17 percent to 5,910 yen.
“Japanese stocks were in party mood on Monday and Tuesday after the Olympics decision,” said Koichi Kurose, chief economist in Tokyo at Japanese lender Resona Bank Ltd.
“But the games are still seven years away and it’ll be a long time before there is any actual effect on infrastructure development or tourism. After the initial exuberant reaction, it wouldn’t be strange for stocks to take a breather.”
The Topix traded at 1.24 times book value yesterday, compared with 2.47 times for the S&P 500 and 1.74 for the Stoxx Europe 600 Index, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
The Japanese gauge’s historic volatility was at 24.15 yesterday, compared with its five-year median of 19.42. - Bloomberg News