Japan Stocks Add To Gains, With Nissan, Alps On The Rise

By Michael KitchenMarketWatch Pulse

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.

Copyright © 2015 MarketWatch, Inc.

Continue Reading Below