Japanese stocks went from strength to strength early Wednesday, extending solid gains from the day before thanks in part to a further weakened yen. The Nikkei Stock Average was quoted 0.4% higher about a half-hour into the session, with the index briefly surpassing the 20,900 mark, last hit in the summer of 1997. The Topix was also 0.4% firmer as the dollar floated up to �123.84 from its �123.40 level 24 hours earlier. Among gainers, Nissan Motor Co. rose 2.1%, Kyocera Corp. added 1.1%, TDK Corp. added 1.6%, and Alps Electric Co. rallied 3.8% to sit 9% higher since reporting its fiscal-year results last Friday. Also on the move, trading house Itochu Corp. improved by 3.1% after taking a hit following news late last week that it was booking a roughly $1 billion loss by walking away from its stake in U.S. energy company Samson Resources, which it sold for a nominal price of $1. Despite the market's uptrend, however, some of the biggest blue chips sat in the loss column, with Sony Corp. down 0.4%, Sharp Corp. down 0.6%, and Panasonic Corp. down 0.1% as the Nikkei reported it was closing its production of fluorescent lights in Indonesia. Shares of Konica Minolta Inc. were struck 2.1% lower amid news it planned to buy U.S. measurement-equipment company Radiant Vision Systems for about $240 million. Meanwhile, stock in Toyo Tire & Rubber Co. climbed 3% after its president and other top executives announced their resignation over a fake-data scandal, according to a Nikkei report.
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