World Economy

Tokyo Investors Look to Economy

Tokyo Investors Look to EconomyTokyo Investors Look to Economy

Japanese growth data and a central bank meeting will be in focus for Tokyo investors next week, as the country wraps up its latest earnings season.

Kicking off the week, machinery orders — a leading indicator of capital spending — will be released Monday while January-March gross domestic product figures are due Wednesday, after Japan limped out of a brief recession in the last three months of 2014, NewsNow reported.

The Bank of Japan (BoJ) is also holding a two-day meeting with governor Haruhiko Kuroda slated to meet the press on Friday as investors look for more clues about another round of expansion to the BoJ’s monetary easing plan.

Speculation has been rising that a weak economy including tepid inflation would force policymakers to further ease policy, with the latest data showing consumer confidence remained weak in April.

“The focus of the Tokyo market is likely to move to economic fundamentals from corporate earnings,” Daiwa Securities said in a note. “January-March GDP to be released on Wednesday will likely provide a key focus,” it added.

On Friday, the Nikkei 225 stock index at the Tokyo Stock Exchange rose 0.83 percent or 162.68 points to finish at 19,732.92, for a weekly gain of 1.82 percent.

The Topix index of all first-section shares climbed 0.98 percent, or 15.62 points, to 1,607.11. It rose 1.21 percent over the week.

The rise came as Japan finishes a relatively upbeat reporting season and after Wall Street supplied a strong lead, with the broad-based S&P 500 bolting to a fresh record-high close Thursday, led by strong gains in Apple, Facebook and other technology stocks.

It rose 1.08 percent to end at 2,121.10. The Dow gained 1.06 percent and the Nasdaq jumped 1.39 percent.