Japan Stocks Book Gains, Helped By Yen And Strong Banks

MarketWatch Pulse

Japanese stocks came rolling higher in early Monday trade, emboldened by a sharply weaker yen and Friday's gains for U.S. banks in the wake of an upbeat May jobs report. The Nikkei Stock Average added 0.3%, wiping away Friday's 0.1% slip, while the broader Topix improved by 0.2%. Blue-chip exporters enjoyed a boost as the yen explored new 13-year lows against the dollar , which was buying �125.54 early Monday, well above the �124.37 seen late Friday in Tokyo. That said, the Japanese unit was off its earlier lows after data ahead of the market open showed first-quarter economic growth revised to an annualized 3.9%, up from the preliminary read of 2.4%. Among the major tech and industrial names, Japan Display Inc. rose 1.2%, Kyocera Corp. added 1%, Sony Corp. improved by a more modest 0.4%, and Toshiba Corp. climbed 2.2% as a Nikkei news report said the company's internal accounting probe hadn't turned up any new problems. Meanwhile, Japanese banks outperformed after solid gains for their U.S. peers Friday, when the the Nasdaq Bank Index and PHLX/KBW Bank Index rose more than 1.7% each. Major financial gainers included Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc. (up 1.1%), Mizuho Financial Group Inc. (up 1.7%), Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc. (up 1.2%), Credit Saison Co. (up 2.3%) and Bank of Yokohama Ltd. (up 4.5%). Meanwhile, casual-apparel provider Shimamura Co. rose 1.2% as a separate Nikkei report said the company's outlook for operating profit in the current fiscal year was above analysts' consensus estimate.

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