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Thursday 20th of November 2008
April 3, 2006

Tankan survey helps Tokyo markets higher


by Elaine Frei

The Japanese equities markets were up significantly on Monday as the Topix index hit a 14-year high before closing at its highest level in six years. The Topix added 1.5 percent on the day to 1,754.64. Meanwhile, the Nikkei 225 was up 1.6 percent to close at 17,333.31. The advances were put to renewed vigor at the start of the fiscal year and a new Tankan survey of business sentiment from the Bank of Japan that most analysts saw as mostly reassuring despite some weak data.

The electrical machinery sector added 1.8 percent as a whole, partly as a result of the Tankan data and partly on a weaker yen, which tends to help out export-reliant companies. Toshiba was up 3.8 percent to ¥710.

The Tankan survey also helped the service sector, retailers, and sea transport. The retail sector as a whole added 2 percent, with holding company Seven & I, which operates Japan’s Seven-Eleven stores and the Ito-Yokado department stores, rising 1.7 percent to ¥4,740. Aeon, the largest retailer in Asia when rated by sales, added 4.6 percent to ¥2,985 on the news that it is thinking about increasing its stake in Diamond City, a joint Japanese shopping mall project with Mitsubishi.

Sea transport added 1.8 percent, with Nippon Yusen, Japan’s largest shipper, up 1.8 percent itself, to ¥732.

Iron and steel, however, did not benefit from the Tankan data, which indicated weakness in the sector. JFE was down 1.1 percent to ¥4,700, while Nippon Steel dropped 0.2 percent to ¥455.

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