TOKYO — Japan’s Nikkei index ended at a more than four-month high on Monday, as investors scooped up stocks that reported robust outlook, while caution ahead of the release of U.S. consumer prices report limited gains.
The Nikkei share average rose 0.26% to 28,249.24, its highest close since March 29. The index, which opened lower, posted a four-session winning run. The broader Topix edged 0.22% higher to 1,951.41.
The S&P 500 and Nasdaq fell in the previous session, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained after a solid U.S. jobs report fueled expectations for more aggressive policy tightening by the Federal Reserve.
Data showed U.S. employers hired far more workers than expected in July, the 19th straight month of payrolls expansion, with the unemployment rate falling to a pre-pandemic low of 3.5%.
Investors’ focus now is on the July U.S. consumer prices report due on Wednesday, which could see a slight pullback in headline growth, but likely a further acceleration in core inflation.
“Wall Street had a mixed reaction to the payroll data so it is hard for investors to make an active bet in Japan. They are awaiting for the U.S. CPI data before making any active bets,” said Takatoshi Itoshima, strategist at Pictet Asset Management Japan.
“As long as the Fed’s policy decision is based on economic data, investors would have to keep waiting for new key indicators to make a decision for their bets.”
In Japan, Bandai Namco advanced 4.06% and was one of the top boost for the Nikkei after the game maker raised its half-year profit forecast.
Suzuki Motor surged 10.44% after the automaker reported a 36.8% jump in its latest quarterly operating profit.
Canon rose 4.63% after the camera and office equipment maker announced its second share buyback this year. (Reporting by Junko Fujita; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)