Nikkei edges up in choppy trade; Kobe Steel poised to plunge

Reuters Tokyo | Updated on January 08, 2018 Published on October 10, 2017

Japan's Nikkei share average edged up in choppy trade on Tuesday after a three-day weekend as the weak yen supported sentiment, but Kobe Steel's shares were set to plunge after it said it had fabricated data.

The Nikkei was up 0.4 per cent at 20,763.10 points by midmorning, after opening slightly lower.

After Japan's national holiday on Monday, investors returned to the market to see the yen had weakened over the weekend as US wage data from the September labour market report was seen as a sign of potentially improving inflation.

“The market expects a December rate hike, and the Nikkei has been stabilized as the dollar-yen remains strong,” said Yutaka Miura, a senior technical analyst at Mizuho Securities.

Kobe Steel was untraded as sell orders dwarfed buy orders after Japan's third-biggest steelmaker revealed it had fabricated data to falsely show that its products met customer specifications.

The company had said on Sunday that about 4 per cent of the aluminium and copper products that it shipped from September 2016 to August 2017 were falsely labelled as meeting the specifications requested by customers.

Exporters were steady after the dollar had popped up to a near three-month high of 113.440 on Friday on the robust US wages data before pulling back on North Korea concerns. During Asian trading hours, it was flat at 112.690 yen.

Toyota Motor Corp gained 1.5 per cent, Mitsubishi Motors soared 1.9 per cent and Tokyo Electron surged 1.8 per cent.

Seven & i Holdings advanced 1.9 per cent after the Nikkei business daily said that the convenience store operator will likely post 6 per cent growth in operating profit for the March-August period. Insurance stocks lost ground, with MS&AD Holdings tumbling 4 per cent and Sompo Holdings diving 5.5 per cent.

The broader Topix added 0.1 per cent to 1,689.16.

Published on October 10, 2017
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