Japan Stocks Post Solid Early Gain Despite Some Weak Earnings

MarketWatch Pulse

Japanese stocks bubbled higher in early Tuesday trading, overcoming some weak earnings results and downbeat retail-sales data to instead concentrate on the positive. The Nikkei Stock Average was up 0.7% about 15 minutes into trade to erase a 0.2% loss the previous day, while the broader Topix saw a 0.5% improvement. The dollar stuck to the previous day's range, buying �119.10 versus �119.21 at the Monday stock close in Tokyo. Among the top gainers, robot-maker Fanuc Corp. shot 5.3% higher after saying it would double its dividend and increase its share buybacks, while energy major Inpex Corp. added 3.5% following news it had taken a 5% stake in a top Abu Dhabi oil concession. Shares of Suzuki Motor Corp. barreled 2.9% higher after its Indian joint venture Maruti Suzuki India Ltd. presented a forecast-beating quarterly profit and strong outlook. The rest of the auto stocks were mixed, however, with Toyota Motor Corp. up 1.2%, and Honda Motor Co. 1% higher, but Daihatsu Motor Co. falling 5%, and Mazda Motor Corp. down 2.2% to extend losses from Monday after its full-year operating profit missed projections. A number of disappointing earnings reports and profit outlooks weighed on tech and industrial majors as well, with Kyocera Corp. down 6.3%, Fuji Electric Co. down 6.1%, Komatsu Ltd. down 5.1%, and Hitachi Construction Macheriny Co. down 6.1%. But leading the losses was stock in Tokyo Electron Ltd. , tumbling almost 14% after regulatory concerns killed its planned merger with Applied Materials Inc. . Meanwhile, data showing a 9.7% drop in retail sales from a year earlier had little evident impact on the retailers, with Fast Retailing Co. up 1.8%, Aeon Co. up 1.6%, and J. Front Retailing Co. up 1.4%. Likewise, the decision late Monday by Fitch Ratings to cut Japan's sovereign credit rating appeared not to affect the financials.

Copyright © 2015 MarketWatch, Inc.

Continue Reading Below