Monday, 5 June 2017

Nikkei tops 20,000 but autos, banks and yen make investors doubt sustainability

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A 10 percent surge over six weeks swept Japan's Nikkei stock index above the 20,000-point barrier for the first time since late 2015 on Friday, without dispelling doubts about the rally's shelf life given the outlook for automakers, banks and the yen.

Data shows foreign investors, who make up 70 percent of trading activity in the Tokyo market, rushed to cover short positions as a rally from the year's low on April 17 gathered momentum.

But the data also shows foreigners avoided making heavy bullish bets, probably because analysts expect Japan Inc.'s earnings growth to falter.

The number of companies on the MSCI Japan index with earnings estimates down from the previous month has climbed steadily since mid-April and is now at its highest since December.

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