Japan Stocks Rebound on U.S. Lead

Japan’s Nikkei share average rebounded on Friday morning after Wall Street surged on receding worries about a U.S. interest rate hike, while Nikon Corp tumbled after releasing a weak earnings forecast.  Nikon fell 13.5 percent to a three-month low of 1,483 yen after it forecast a 30.9 percent fall in its operating profit to 30 billion yen ($250 million) for the year to March 2016. Its American Depositary share price had dropped 13 percent overnight. Morgan Stanley MUFG Securities cut its rating to “underweight” from “equal-weight”.

On Thursday, U.S. shares rose sharply after a spate of U.S. economic data painted an improving employment picture, while subdued producer price inflation eased expectations that the U.S. central bank would raise interest rates sooner rather than later this year.   The Nikkei 225 was up 0.7 percent at 19,698.25 in mid-morning trade, with a resistance level seen at its 25-day moving average of 19,765. For the week, it has gained 1.5 percent.

“If overseas markets stabilise and uncertainty eases further, investors will gradually look to individual catalysts in the Japanese market,” said Isao Kubo, a strategist at Nissay Asset Management, adding that the Nikkei would likely crawl back to 20,000.  Companies announcing returns to shareholders gained ground. Advertising firm Dentsu Inc jumped 11 percent after raising its dividend payout forecast to 70 yen per share from 55 yen per share for the year through December. It also announced a share buyback.