Chip Somodevilla, Getty Images
Federal Reserve board of governors chair Janet Yellen

Tokyo Investors Eyeing US Data, Greece Talks Next Week

June 19, 2015
After the Federal Reserve held off interest rate hikes (for now), U.S. housing starts and durable goods orders will be on deck next weekend.

TOKYO — A slate of U.S. economic data and Greece's bailout talks will be on Tokyo investors' radar next week as the clock ticks down to a deadline for Athens to pay some of its debts.

U.S. housing starts and durable goods orders will be on deck from Monday with markets keen to see more evidence of a stable recovery in the world's biggest economy.

After a two-day meeting this week, the Federal Reserve held off hiking interest rates and said any increases would be cautious. Afterward, Fed boss Janet Yellen said its first interest rate hike in nine years would likely come "later this year."

EU president Donald Tusk called an emergency summit of the leaders of the 19 eurozone countries for Monday in Brussels after finance ministers on Thursday failed to break the 5-month-old deadlock between the anti-austerity government in Athens and its creditors.

"With the end-of-June IMF deadline fast approaching, (German chancellor) Angela Merkel repeated this week that a deal was still possible, but if there's no progress next week, we are likely to see an immediate negative market reaction," Barclays said in a research note.

On Friday, the Nikkei 225 added 0.92%, or 183.42 points, to close at 20,174.24, snapping a four-day losing streak. Over the week, the benchmark index lost 1.14%.

The Topix index of all first-section shares rose 0.89%, or 14.35 points, to 1,631.01. But it was down 1.24% over the week.

Tokyo picked up a strong lead from New York where the tech-focused Nasdaq powered to a fresh record.

Later Friday, the BoJ kept a lid on its record 80 trillion yen annual asset-buying scheme after it wrapped up a policy meeting. 

The program is aimed at jacking up prices and kickstarting growth in the world's No. 3 economy.

Despite the BoJ's decision, economists expect a further loosening of monetary policy, likely later this year, to bring Japan closer to its 2% inflation target, which is a cornerstone of prime minister Shinzo Abe's drive to conquer deflation.

The country's near-zero inflation rate is far below the BoJ's target.

Boosting Japanese exporters, the dollar ticked up to 123.14 yen from 122.93 yen in New York.

Shares in factory robotics maker Fanuc jumped 3.23% to 26,200 yen, lender Mitsubishi UFJ rose 0.64% to 860 yen and Fast Retailing, operator of the Uniqlo clothing chain, slipped 0.06% to 52,170 yen. 

Toyota closed up 0.61% at 8,234.0 yen as investors appeared to shrug off news that its most senior female executive was arrested in a Tokyo hotel on suspicion of violating the country's drug control law.

Japanese investigators were questioning American Julie Hamp after customs found controlled drugs in a parcel sent to her from the United States.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2015

About the Author

Agence France-Presse

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2002-2024. AFP text, photos, graphics and logos shall not be reproduced, published, broadcast, rewritten for broadcast or publication or redistributed directly or indirectly in any medium. AFP shall not be held liable for any delays, inaccuracies, errors or omissions in any AFP content, or for any actions taken in consequence.

Sponsored Recommendations

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of IndustryWeek, create an account today!