Nikkei 225 Higher At Close, Economy Grew 1.6% In Last Quarter – Outlook Positive

Japan stocks were higher after the close on Thursday, as gains in the Marine Transport, Transport, and Transportation Equipment sectors led shares higher.

At the close in Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 gained 0.55%.

The best performers of the session on the Nikkei 225 were Eisai Co., Ltd., which rose 9.84% or 549.0 points to trade at 6126.0 at the close. Meanwhile, Hokuetsu Kishu Paper Co., Ltd. added 5.46% or 36.0 points to end at 695.0 and Dainippon Screen Mfg. Co., Ltd. was up 4.90% or 485.0 points to 10380.0 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Kobe Steel, Ltd., which fell 4.72% or 52.5 points to trade at 1059.0 at the close. Mitsui Mining and Smelting Co. declined 4.64% or 222.5 points to end at 4570.0 and Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Ltd. was down 4.50% or 160.0 points to 3397.5.

Japan’s economy expanded at an annualized rate of 1.6 percent in the final three months of 2017, revised up from a preliminary estimate of 0.5 percent growth due to an upward revision to capital expenditure, the Cabinet Office said on Thursday.

The economy grew an annualized 1.6 percent in October-December, versus economists’ median estimate for 0.9 percent annualized growth and the preliminary reading of a 0.5 percent expansion, Cabinet Office data showed on Thursday.

“Recent weak data such as industrial output and retail sales for January suggest GDP growth may slow in the first quarter,” said Masaki Kuwahara, senior economist at Nomura Securities.

“Still, Japan’s growth will hold firm at least until summer, led by exports and capital expenditure, with help from the solid U.S. economy.”

With inflation remaining distant from the 2 percent target, the Bank of Japan is widely expected to keep its massive monetary easing intact at its policy-setting meeting that ends on Friday.

On the technical charts, Nikkei 225 is trading in the positive zone below all the moving averages. The RSI is at 40.76 and the MACD is below the signal line.

Trade suggestion:

Buy stop at 21185, Take profit at 21220, Stop loss at 21110

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