Japan Shares Rise on Corporate Optimism, but Election Caution Weighs

Japan Shares Rise on Corporate Optimism, but Election Caution Weighs
Shipping firms jumped 7.22% as Mitsui OSK Lines' annual forecast beat analysts' expectations.

Japanese shares reversed course to end marginally higher on Friday, as optimism around domestic corporate outlook outweighed investors’ caution ahead of the country’s general election.

The Nikkei share average edged up 0.25% to close at 28,892.69, after losing as much as 1.2% earlier in the session. For the week, the index inched up 0.3%.

The broader Topix also changed course to gain 0.08% to 2,001.18.

“The market had a complicated move today, with a bigger-than-expected fall earlier in the day. Investors probably sold shares to adjst positions in the run-up to the election,” said Jun Morita, general manager of the research department at Chibagin Asset Management.

“So far, overall Japanese companies have reported positive earnings despite negative factors such as supply chain disruptions and shortage of materials. That has lifted investor confidence.”

The Nikkei recouped most of its early losses after Denso , an affiliate of Toyota Motor, reported robust earnings during the session, market participants said.

Denso rose 1.72%, while Toyota edged up 0.33%.

Keyence jumped 5.03% after the electronic application equipment maker reported a 67% jump in its first-half net profit.

Shares of Sony Group, which squeezed out a surprise 1% rise in operating profit for its second quarter, rose 1.9%.

Shipping firms jumped 7.22% as Mitsui OSK Lines’ annual forecast beat analysts’ expectations.

But market gains were limited as investors refrained making bets ahead of the election to be held on the weekend, market players said.

Japan’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) faces a fight to maintain its sole majority in the lower house election, opinion polls on Friday showed.

Panasonic fell 6.2% even as the home electric appliances maker raised its full-year operating profit outlook by 12%.

Technology heavyweight Advantest fell 2.81% as its annual forecast missed consensus.