Japan’s Topix Close to Erasing Year’s Loss on Weaker Yen

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Mazda Motor Corp., which gets three-quarters of its sales overseas, climbed 1.6 percent. NSK Ltd. (6471) gained 2.9 percent after Nomura Holdings Inc. upgraded the bearings maker’s shares. SoftBank Corp. jumped 4.5 percent, with the mobile carrier contributing the most to the Topix’s advance. A gauge tracking banks was the biggest drag among the 33 Topix industry groups.

The Topix added 0.1 percent to 1,299.62 at the close in Tokyo, bringing the gauge to within 0.2 percent of erasing its loss for the year. The Nikkei 225 Stock Average increased 0.3 percent today to 15,749.15. The yen lost 0.2 percent to 106.21 per dollar after touching its lowest since October 2008.

“The weaker yen will steadily contribute to exporters’ earnings,” said Toshihiko Matsuno, chief strategist at SMBC Friend Securities Co. in Tokyo. “We’re getting closer to an end to tapering and the raising of interest rates in the U.S., so this yen weakening is set to continue.”

The Topix rebounded 15 percent from its April 14 low amid optimism about the global economy and speculation the $1.2 trillion Government Pension Investment Fund will buy more domestic shares. The measure traded at 1.3 times book value yesterday, compared with 2.7 for the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index and 1.9 for the Stoxx Europe 600 Index.

Futures on the S&P 500 sank 0.1 percent today. The underlying equity gauge slid 0.3 percent yesterday, after a five-week rally sent the gauge to a record, as declines in energy companies along with oil prices overshadowed a rally by Yahoo! Inc.

Exporters Climb

Exporters gained as the yen weakened. Mazda added 1.6 percent to 2,569 yen. Toyota Motor Corp. (7203), the world’s biggest automaker, advanced 0.3 percent to 6,127 yen. Sony Corp. added 1.2 percent to 2,042 yen.

SoftBank, the biggest investor in Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., surged 4.5 percent to 7,969 yen in a second day of gains. Alibaba Chairman Jack Ma’s firm is being valued as high as $162.7 billion in its U.S. initial public offering.

NSK jumped 2.9 percent to 1,470 yen as Nomura raised its rating to buy from neutral and lifted its target price to 1,700 yen from 1,400 yen. Jtekt Corp. (6473), another producer of bearings, jumped 5.1 percent to 1,734 yen after the brokerage lifted its outlook for the shares to 2,000 yen from 1,800 yen.

Among stocks that fell, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc., Japan’s largest lender, sank 0.7 percent to 606 yen for the biggest drag on the Topix. Aozora Bank Ltd. retreated 1.8 percent to 379 yen.

Okuma Corp. declined 5 percent to 803 yen after Credit Suisse Group AG cut the machine-tool manufacturer’s rating to underperform from outperform, while lowering the share-price forecast to 750 yen from 1,300 yen.

(An earlier version of this story corrected the Topix’s valuation.)

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