Japan’s Nikkei share average crawled back from a 2-1/2-month low on Monday morning as US stocks rebounded after strong economic data buoyed the sentiment, while the weaker yen helped exporters rise.
Bucking the strength, Sharp Corp dived 9.1 per cent to 229 yen, the lowest since December 2012, after the Nikkei business daily reported that the company is set to slide back into the red this financial year.
The Nikkei rose 0.7 per cent to 16,983.82 in mid-morning trade. On Friday, it slid to 16,592.57 during trade, the lowest level since October 31, when the Bank of Japan unexpectedly eased monetary policy.
US shares snapped a five-day losing streak on Friday after US consumer sentiment hit its highest in 11 years in January, and December factory output rose.
“We are seeing some comfort in the market for the time-being, but it’s too early to be relieved and optimistic,’’ said Fujio Ando, senior managing director at Chibagin Asset Management, adding that investors may stay on the sidelines this week as they brace for the European Central Bank to decide on Thursday whether it will launch a huge stimulus plan.
“We still have concerns about global growth and other geopolitical risks such as Greece,’’ Ando said.
Sources have told Reuters the ECB may adopt a hybrid approach — buying debt and sharing some of the risk across the euro zone, while national central banks make separate purchases of their own.
The dollar was at 117.06 yen after falling to a one-month low of 115.85 yen on Friday.
Honda Motor Co added 0.9 per cent, Sony Corp rose 2.0 per cent and Advantest Corp gained 1.5 per cent. Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd rose 2.5 per cent to a one-week high after the maker of Subaru cars said in its production plan that it expects to produce a record 9.2 million units worldwide in 2015.
The broader Topix gained 0.4 per cent to 1,369 yen and the JPX-Nikkei Index 400 advanced 0.5 per cent to 12,433.70.