Tokyo Stocks Seen Moving on Firm Note Next Week

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — Tokyo stocks are expected to move on a firm note this week thanks to receding uncertainties about corporate earnings and monetary policy outlooks, market sources said.

Last week, the Nikkei average of 225 selected issues listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange’s Prime section gained 126.90 points, or 0.46%, to finish at 27,509.46 Friday.

The market struggled for direction early in the week ahead of the U.S. Federal Reserve’s two-day Federal Open Market Committee meeting through Wednesday.

Market sentiment turned brighter in the second half of the week, after Fed Chairman Jerome Powell told a press conference after the FOMC meeting that disinflation has started in the United States, a comment taken by market players to indicate a dovish turn from his past statements.

A string of earnings reports for periods to December 2022 swayed individual issues.

This week, the Nikkei average is expected to move mainly between 27,200 and 28,000, analysts and brokers said.

“With the earnings reporting season in the United States drawing to a close, and the season in Japan entering its second half, there is shrinking uncertainty about business outlooks,” Masayuki Otani, chief market analyst at Securities Japan Inc., said.

“Combined with waning uncertainty over monetary policy following the FOMC meeting, it is becoming considerably easier for market players to engage in risk-on trading,” Otani said.

Still, Chihiro Ota, general manager for investment research and investor services at SMBC Nikko Securities Inc., said that the Nikkei is unlikely to gain enough upward momentum to climb past the psychological threshold of 28,000.

“There has been a lack of fresh market-moving factors to help the market test higher ground,” he said.