LOS ANGELES – Japan's stock investors looked past some weaker-than-expected trade data and dwelt instead on a slight downturn for the yen, pushing the Nikkei Stock Average up 0.1% early Thursday, even as the Topix moved sideways. The dollar rose to �101.54 overnight, up from �101.35 at the previous day's close, while sentiment also got a lift from strong earning out of motor maker Nidec Corp. . Nidec -- one of the first major non-retailers to report results -- traded 2.1% higher after reporting a 34% gain in fiscal-first-quarter profit, along with a strong outlook. Meanwhile, Nikkei news reports tipping strong gains for quarterly operating profit at Nissan Motor Co. and Fujifilm Holdings Corp. sent those companies' shares up 0.8% and 2.1%, respectively. Sony Corp. added 1.9% after announcing a $345 million investment to increase its image-sensor output as smartphone production rises worldwide. Other major gainers included Pioneer Corp. (up 2.3%), Fanuc Corp. (up 1.2%) and Takashimaya Co. (up 1.8%). On the downside, Mitsubishi Estate Co. slipped 0.2% after Moody's cut the property company's debt rating, while among other decliners, Toshiba Corp. fell 0.7%, Tokyo Electron Ltd. lost 2.7%, Softbank Corp. retreated 1.1%, and Nintendo Co. gave up 1.7% in the run-up to the game maker's event at the Comic-Con gathering in San Diego, Calif.
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