Oct. 30 (Bloomberg) -- Japanese shares rose, with the Topix index reversing this month’s loss, as a weaker yen boosted exporters and corporate earnings cheered investors.
Toyota Motor Corp., the world’s largest carmaker, jumped 1.6 percent. SoftBank Corp. added 2 percent after a report the mobile carrier may post record operating profit. Japan Tobacco Inc. climbed 3.7 percent after NHK, Japan’s public broadcaster, said Asia’s biggest listed cigarette maker may cut workers and close plants. Nippon Light Metal Holdings Co. fell the most on the Nikkei 225 Stock Average after the aluminum producer cut its profit forecast.
The Topix climbed 0.9 percent to 1,204.50 at the close in Tokyo, with all but four of the 33 industry groups rising. The measure is headed for a 0.9 percent gain this month. The Nikkei 225 increased 1.2 percent to 14,502.35. The Federal Reserve concludes a policy meeting today. The yen slid 0.5 percent against the dollar yesterday and traded at 98.20 today.
“So far, most earnings for Japanese companies have been favorable and it’s starting to breed confidence,” said Hiroichi Nishi, an equities manager in Tokyo at SMBC Nikko Securities Inc., a unit of Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc., Japan’s second-biggest lender by market value. “As long as central banks in the world’s major countries maintain their strong stance to not let the economy slip, the market won’t break down and that’s reassuring investors.”
The Topix is among the worst performers this month out of 24 developed markets tracked by Bloomberg. Japanese shares are still the biggest gainers in 2013 among the markets amid optimism Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s policies and unprecedented monetary easing from the Bank of Japan will lead the country out of deflation.
Futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index were little changed today. The equity gauge added 0.6 percent yesterday, climbing to a record, as earnings from Pfizer Inc. to Xylem Inc. beat estimates and data indicating slower growth fueled bets the Federal Reserve will maintain stimulus. Retail sales dropped 0.1 percent last month, while wholesale prices unexpectedly fell in September as food costs retreated.
The Fed will delay slowing its $85 billion of monthly bond buying until March, according to economists surveyed by Bloomberg on Oct. 17-18.
Exporters advanced. Toyota gained 1.6 percent to 6,370 yen. Honda Motor Co., which gets about 80 percent of its sales abroad, added 1.3 percent to 3,965 yen.
The Bank of Japan meets tomorrow and will release updated forecasts on Japan’s growth and inflation. The central bank is likely to announce additional monetary stimulus in the first six months of next year, according to 25 of 34 economists in a Bloomberg News survey conducted Oct. 23-28.
Also in Japan today, data showed industrial output rose less than forecast in September, underlining the challenge for Abe as he tries to stoke a sustained expansion in the world’s third-biggest economy. Production increased 1.5 percent from the previous month, the trade ministry said in Tokyo, below the median estimate for a gain of 1.8 percent in a Bloomberg News survey of 30 economists.
More than 1,100 companies on the 1,744-member Topix report results in the two weeks through Nov. 7, the peak for earnings season, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Of the 178 companies on the measure that have already posted results this quarter and for which Bloomberg has estimates, 58 percent recorded sales that topped expectations.
Earnings per share for companies on the measure are expected to increase 52 percent from the previous quarter, according to analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg.
SoftBank gained 2 percent to 7,520 yen. The company chaired by billionaire Masayoshi Son may report operating profit of more than 700 billion yen for the first half of this year, a record, the Nikkei newspaper reported. SoftBank spokeswoman Hiroe Kotera said the company wasn’t the source of the information.
Japan Tobacco jumped 3.7 percent to 3,550 yen, after NHK reported the company plans to shed 20 percent of its workforce and close some factories in the country. The company confirmed that it will cut about 1,600 jobs and close plants in Japan.
Among stocks that fell, Nippon Light Metal tumbled 7.8 percent to 142 yen, the most on the Nikkei 225, after cutting its operating profit forecast for the year to 12 billion yen from 14.5 billion yen.
Advantest Corp., a maker of semiconductor-testing devices, dropped 7.1 percent to 1,177 yen after it recorded a wider-than- estimated net loss.
GungHo Online Entertainment Inc. plunged 19 percent to 64,700 yen, the most since June 26, after reporting that third- quarter net income fell to 14.4 billion yen from 15.9 billion yen in the previous three-month period.
The Topix traded at 1.26 times book value today, compared with 2.58 for the S&P 500 and 1.80 for the Stoxx Europe 600 Index yesterday. The Japanese gauge’s 30-day historic volatility was at 17.17 today, compared with its five-year median of 19.20. Volume on the measure was 31 percent above the 30-day average today.
--Editors: Tom Redmond, Sarah McDonald