Tokyo investors will be watching the release of a string of data from the United States, China and Japan next week, after the benchmark Nikkei 225 index scratched back some of last week’s big losses.
Among the figures in focus are US durable goods orders for March and HSBC’s April manufacturing purchasing managers’ index for China, both due on Wednesday.
Investors will also be keeping an eye on Japanese trade for March at the start of the week and inflation figures on Friday to see if there has been any early impact in prices from this month’s sales tax hike.
Japan’s first rate levy rise in 17 years, seen as crucial to taming its ballooning national debt, has stoked fears that the country’s nascent recovery will come to a screeching halt as spending drops off.
On Friday, the benchmark Nikkei rose 0.68 per cent in quiet trade as a weaker yen boosted exporter shares following a mixed session on Wall Street.
The index added 98.74 points to finish at 14,516.27, gaining 3.98 per cent since Monday. The rally clawed back some of last week’s losses when the Nikkei tumbled 7.3 per cent – its biggest weekly drop since just after Japan’s 2011 quake-tsunami disaster.
The headline index is down about 11 per cent since the start of the year.
The broader Topix index of all first-section shares finished Friday’s session up 0.58 per cent, or 6.78 points, at 1,173.37. It rose 3.46 per cent over the week.
Most major Asian markets were closed Friday for the Easter weekend.
“I’d like to think that there is a case for buying Japan on earnings, in the run-up to another blowout reporting season, but the market doesn’t move unless foreign investors move, and they look like they’re enjoying a slow, sleepy Easter weekend,” said CLSA equities strategist Nicholas Smith.
Japanese exporters rose as the US dollar strengthened to Y102.43 in Tokyo, up from Y102.39 in New York Thursday.
In share trading, Toyota rose 0.94 per cent to Y5564, Sony gained 1.25 per cent to Y1932 and Sharp was up 1.47 per cent at Y276.
Mobile phone carriers ended mixed with SoftBank adding 0.23 per cent to Y7623 and NTT Docomo down 0.12 per cent at Y1579.