4:30 PM Tokyo – The Nikkei index gained 0.5% and extended weekly advance to 3.3% but plunged more than 9% in the quarter. Yahoo Japan will launch its wireless service after the purchase of eAccess for $3.2 billion. Core inflation rate in Japan was unchanged at 1.3% in February and retail sales jumped 3.6%.
The Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications said the inflation rate in Japan increased to 1.5% in February, in-line with expectations and rose from 1.4% in January.
Core inflation rate was 1.3% and unchanged from the previous month. On a monthly basis, overall CPI was flat and core inflation inched up 0.1%.
In a separate report, the ministry said unemployment rate in Japan on a seasonally adjusted basis was unchanged at 3.6% in February from January.
Total number of unemployed in February were 2.32 million, a decrease of 450,000 or 16.2% from a year ago month.
The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said retail sales in Japan jumped 3.6% in February, following 4.4% gain in January. On a monthly basis, retail sales added a seasonally adjusted 0.3%, followed by 1.6% increased in January.
The Nikkei 225 Stock Average increased 73.14 or 0.5% to 14,696.03 and the Topix index rose 9.62 to 1,186.52.
For the week, Nikkei 225 climbed 3.3%, for the month fell 1% and for the quarter plunged 9.2%.
The yen closed at 102.17 against the U.S. dollar.
Stocks in Review
Toyota Motor Corp
gained 54 yen to 5,785 yen. Honda Motor Co
grew 21 yen to 3,554 yen. Nissan Motor Co Ltd
rose 0.7% to 900 yen.
added 16 yen to 1,897 yen.
fell 117 yen to 7,694 yen after Yahoo Japan Corp plans to buy broadband network service provider eAccess Ltd for 324 billion yen or $3.17 billion to launch its own mobile Internet service.
Softbank controls 42.6% in Yahoo Japan Corp, the largest Internet portal in Japan.
The company acquisition is scheduled to complete on June 2, immediately after the merger of eAccess and wireless carrier Willcom which is also subsidiary of Softbank. The merged company will have 10 million subscribers.
Yahoo Japan plans to double the number of users to 20 million and to acquire additional 10 million customers. “Company wants to control service plans and sales channels and provide its own handsets,” Yahoo Japan President Manabu Miyasaka said at a press conference.
Softbank plans to take one-time gain of 55.7 billion yen for the sale of eAccess in the next fiscal year.
Fast Retailing Co
jumped 715 yen or 1.9% to 37,885 yen.
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd
rose 0.3% to 589 yen and the diversified manufacturer plans to book a loss of 60 billion yen in the current fiscal year due to delays in construction of two large cruise ships.
The company reaffirmed group net profit estimate of 150 billion yen.
Separately, JMG Limited the Nigeria-based power producer signed a partnership with Mitsubishi Turbocharger and Engine Europe B.V.