Japanese shares rose slightly on Friday, as optimism about the performance of domestic companies outweighed investor caution ahead of the country’s general elections.
Also, the Bank of Japan, as expected, adhered to its lenient stance at its meeting, Thursday, Haruhiko Kuroda, Governor of the Bank of Japan, announced during a press conference at the Central Bank headquarters in Tokyo, Japan. The Bank of Japan indicated further delays in the economy’s recovery after the pandemic.
The Nikkei index rose 0.25 percent, on Friday, to close at 28,892.69 points, after falling by about 1.2 percent earlier in the session. The index increased during the week by 0.3 percent.
The broader Topix index also increased and closed up 0.08 percent at 2001.18 points.
Market participants said the Nikkei made up for most of its early losses after Denso, a subsidiary of Toyota Motors, reported solid earnings during the session.
Denso shares rose 1.72 percent, while Toyota shares rose 0.33 percent.
Sony Group, which posted an unexpected 1 percent increase in operating profit in the second quarter, gained 1.9 percent.
However, market players reported that gains were limited as investors reluctant to take risks ahead of the general elections to be held at the weekend.
Panasonic shares plunged 6.2 percent even though the power tool maker raised its annual operating profit forecast by 12 percent.
Advantest Tech shares fell 2.81 percent after its annual forecast came in lower than expected.
The Japanese government lowered its overall assessment of regional economies for the first time in 18 months, as global chip shortages and supply chain disruptions are affecting the auto industry.
The Ministry of Finance said in its October report, part of its quarterly assessment covering 11 regions in Japan, that the pace of recovery in Japan’s regional economies was “moderate” partly due to lack of supplies, while in its previous assessment it was “recovering despite seeing weakness.” In some sectors.
This is the first downgrade of the economy’s assessment since April last year when the Japanese economy was suffering from a serious recession caused by the initial impact of the coronavirus epidemic.
The report stated that car production was “paused” as the semiconductor crisis around the world, along with a shortage of spare parts caused by factory closures in Southeast Asian countries where coronavirus cases rose, forced automakers to cut production.
By region, the ministry reduced the assessment to four regions, while maintaining the assessment in six regions, including the Kanto and Kinki regions centered in Tokyo and Osaka.
The downgraded regions such as Tokai in central Japan and Chugoku in western Japan rely heavily on automobile manufacturing.
The government raised the assessment of only the southern part of the Kyushu region.
A ministry official told reporters that production of electronic components and chip-making equipment has rebounded in that area in southwest Japan.
The report pointed out that the pace of individual consumption is accelerating “moderately”, adding that spending on hotel services and food “is still in a severe state.” Meanwhile, the report said business in hotels, restaurants and stores is on the rise, after the sharp drop in the number of new COVID-19 infections and the subsequent lifting of the state of emergency across Japan on Oct. 1.
Japan’s Finance Ministry said business conditions are showing some weakness due to the epidemic, although the number of job vacancies on offer is relatively large, especially among manufacturers.