4:30 PM Tokyo – Nikkei 225 index in Japan extended the latest advance and closed at a new 15-year high. Weak commodities and yen supported the gain in indexes. Aeon Mall said revenue in the fiscal year increased 15%. J. Front reported flat sales but earnings tumbled 37%.
Stocks in Tokyo opened higher and extended Nikkei index advance to another 15-year high on the hopes that foreign investors will continue to favor Japanese stocks over the U.S. and European markets.
U.S. Fed released minutes of its meeting in March and rate setting committee members appear to be divided on the timetable for the interest rate increase.
Traders were looking for U.S. rates to begin increasing as early as June but the latest minutes suggest that the rates may not increase till the September meeting.
Fed Chair Janet Yellen stressed in the statement that the committee does not have to see the evidence of inflation in prices and wages but enough confidence that inflation forces are gathering momentum.
In addition, after the market close, U.K. left its rate on hold for the 73rd month in a row, as expected by most economists.
The Nikkei 225 Stock Average jumped 147.91 or 0.8% to 19,937.72 and the broader Topix index gained 5.72 to 1,594.19.
The yen eased to close at 120.27 against a dollar.
Stocks in Review
Aeon Mall Co., Ltd
slipped 1.5% to 2,486 yen after the shopping centers and mall operator reported revenues in the year ending in February climbed 15.2% to $203.90 billion yen from 176.93 billion yen in a year ago period.
Net income in the year jumped 4.6% to 24.51 billion yen compared to 23.43 billion yen and diluted earnings per share increased to 107.53 yen from 106.91 yen in the same period a year ago.
The mall operator forecasted revenues for the first-half to soar 16.7% to 114 billion yen and net income to decline 7.5% to 9.50 billion yen.
For the year, the company estimated revenues to jump 16.7% to 238 billion yen and net income to rise 0.4% to 24.60 billion yen.
Hulic Co Ltd
slumped 1.9% to 1,395 yen after the real estate and insurance company plans to issue 59.55 million new shares at the same price of public offering through private placement to raise 82.27 billion yen with a subscription date on May 15 and payment date on May 18.
The company plans to use funds to repay debt and invest in property.
J. Front Retailing Co Ltd
gained 0.5% to 1,958 yen after the department stores operator reported net sales in the year ending in February rose 0.3% to 1.15 trillion yen from 1.14 trillion yen in a year ago period.
Net income in the year tumbled 36.9% to 19.92 billion yen compared to 31.57 billion yen and diluted earnings per share dropped to 75.47 yen from 119.53 yen in the same period a year ago.
The retailer forecasted net sales for the first-half to increase 2.4% to 571 billion yen and net income to surge 111.5% to 16.50 billion yen.
The department stores operator estimated net sales for the year to jump 2.4% to 1.18 trillion yen and net income to soar 40.6% to 28 billion yen.
increased 1.9% to 2,470 yen after the precision machine tools maker said net sales in the first-quarter ending in February jumped 12.7% to 26.67 billion yen from 23.66 billion yen in a year ago period.
Net income in the quarter surged 48.7% to 2.80 billion yen compared to 1.88 billion yen and diluted earnings per share jumped to 26.93 yen from 18.11 yen in the same period a year ago.
Shin-Etsu Chemical Co Ltd
fell 0.4% to 7,909 yen after the Nikkei news reported poly vinyl and chemical producer plans to invest 13 billion yen to build a photosensitive resin plant in Taiwan.