Japanese stocks rose, with the Topix index set to cap a monthly increase, as investors await company results on the busiest day in the earnings season. Shippers and refineries led gains.
The Topix index climbed 0.2 percent to 1,650.72 as of 9:02 a.m. in Tokyo, headed for a weekly loss of 0.3 percent and a gain of 1.2 percent in July. The Nikkei 225 Stock Average lost 0.2 percent to 20,488.75. More than 300 companies in the Topix will report quarterly results Friday, including the nation’s three largest banks.
Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc., Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc. and Mizuho Financial Group Inc. report after the close of markets. Of the 598 firms that have reported so far this season, 59 percent exceeded profit expectations, an improvement from the 48 percent that beat forecasts in the previous quarter, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Sales were also stronger, with 60 percent coming in above estimates, up from 55 percent last quarter.
Japanese core consumer prices rose 0.1 percent in June from a year earlier, beating estimates for no change, a government report showed Friday. Separate data showed the jobless rate ticked up to 3.4 percent. Economists estimated the rate would remain at 3.3 percent.
Futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index slid 0.1 percent after the underlying measure finished little changed on Thursday. U.S. gross domestic product rose at a 2.3 percent annualized rate from April through June after a revised 0.6 percent advance the prior three months that wiped out a previously reported drop, Commerce Department data showed Thursday in Washington.