Japan stocks seesaw ahead of U.S. CPI data, department stores gain

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TOKYO, Oct 13 (Businesshala) – Japanese stocks were down on Wednesday as investors awaited US consumer price data later in the day, while department store operator J. Front retailing spurred on positive earnings and hopes for an economic reopening.

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As of 0145 GMT, the Nikkei average was down 0.12% at 28,198.12, while the broader top was down 0.21% at 1,978.56.

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As strong US CPI data could raise the stakes of a rate hike previously expected by the Federal Reserve, investors with global exposure to domestic demand-oriented stocks swung out of cyclical stocks that could benefit from an economic reopening.

Red-hot shippers fell 2.6%, while steelmakers fell 1.7%. Semi-conductor shares were also soft after slipping to 2-1/2-month lows by US peers, with Screen Holdings down 2.7% and Shin-Etsu Chemical down 1.4%.

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“With the US economy looking slower than expected and China’s growth outlook from Evergrande’s debt problems, investors are shifting to domestic demand-oriented stocks,” said Masayuki Kubota, chief strategist at Rakuten Securities.

Filmmaker Toho jumped 5.1% after reporting a jump in profits thanks to the cinema’s reopening and the box-office success of his animation film “Belle”.

Department store operator J.Front Retailing rose 9.4% as it returned to net profit in the August quarter after two quarters of losses.

Rival Takashimaya also rose 1.3% after cutting its annual outlook due to weak demand.

Shift jumped 12.1% after the software testing firm reported bumper earnings.

On the other hand, Nippon Paint fell 7.9% after cutting earnings guidance due to rising costs as well as slower sales to carmakers slashing production due to chip shortages. (Reporting by Hideyuki Sano; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

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