The Nikkei stock index gained 1.08 percent Tuesday as the yen's retreat, combined with hopes for business investment here and solid macroeconomic data from China lifted the market mood and sent investors chasing issues higher, going after riskier assets and buying back issues deemed oversold.
The benchmark Nikkei 225 index gained 164.10 points to finish at 15,326.20 while the broader Topix index of all first-section issues added 13.52 points, or 1.07 percent, to close at 1,276.08.
The yen's retreat against the U.S. dollar and the results from the latest quarterly Tanken survey by the Bank of Japan (BOJ), along with some positive data from China, contributed to a positive market mood Tuesday, analysts here said, and investor appetite for riskier assets like stocks seems to have returned.
They pointed to the Tanken survey showing that business investments are charting a positive trajectory in light of the April tax hike and that large businesses are more willing to shell out on new equipment.
Large companies raised their combined investment plans for the continuing financial year ending March to a 7.4 percent increase from a previous 0.1 percent rise forecast in the March survey, the central bank's figures showed.
The latest figure, according to the BOJ, is the highest since the 2007 June survey, with large manufacturers likely to boost their investments to around 13 percent higher than initial median forecasts and marking the highest such investment rate since the Tanken in June 2006. "There are still some positive numbers we can look at in the Tankan. Large companies raised their combined investment plans significantly for the continuing financial year ending March, with the new figure being the highest for some years,"said one local analyst.
On the back of improving industrial production, exports and retail sales, the latest data from China has also contributed to growing faith in the momentum of the world's second-largest economy, strategist here said, which inspired investors.
According to the official Purchasing Managers' Index, manufacturing activity increased to 51.0 in June from 50.8 in May, marking a six-month high, owing to an increase in both domestic and overseas orders. A reading over 50 shows an expansionary phase, whereas one under 50 shows contraction.
In addition the HSBC PMI index climbed to 50.7 in June from 49. 4 in May, breaking the boom-or-bust 50 line for the first time. "The market's upbeat tone was helped by the Chinese government' s announcement that the official PMI figures has rose and the data is a positive sign that the worst is over in the world's second- largest economy,"said Masashi Akutsu, an equity strategist at SMBC Nikko Securities Inc.
With the U.S. dollar fetching 101.46 yen in afternoon Tokyo trade, from 101.31 yen logged in New York on Monday, issues with a wide exposure to overseas markets got a boost, as they see profits augmented when repatriated on favorable currency rates.
Toyota, the world's largest automaker, accelerated 1.38 percent to 6,169 yen, while Nissan advanced 1.14 percent to 972 yen. Mitsubishi Motors rose 0.98 percent to 1,129 yen after reporting it will jointly produce sedans with Chrysler in Mexico.
Industrial-related issues found favor with Keyence Corp. jumping 3.2 percent to close at 45,625 yen, while industrial robotics maker Fanuc Corp. added 2.3 percent to end at 17,870 yen.
Consumer finance issues came under pressure following the sector surging on Monday, following Finance Minister Taro Aso quashed reports that the government was planning to lower interest rates on some lenders. Subsequently, Aiful Corp. dropped 2.6 percent to 636 yen and Acom Co. tumbled 8.5 percent to end the day at 441 yen.
Trading volume on Tuesday rose to 2.39 billion shares on the Tokyo Exchange's First Section, up from Monday's volume of 2.10 billion shares, with advancing issues outnumbering declining ones by 1,295 to 409.