Japanese stocks sprung back to life with solid gains early Thursday, inspired by moves in the insurance sector, an overnight rally on Wall Street, and the yen moving off its highs of the previous day. The Nikkei Stock Average showed off a 0.9% gain about 10 minutes into the trading day, while the Topix was 1.1% higher. The moves followed a 0.3% drop for the Nikkei Average on Wednesday, when the yen soared after Bank of Japan Gov. Haruhiko Kuroda said further losses for the yen were unlikely, other than by a U.S. rate cut. The Kuroda remarks sent the dollar tumbling almost two full yen within minutes to about �122.75, but by early Thursday trading in Tokyo, the greenback had edged modestly higher to �123.03. Some of the tech exporters saw smashing gains, helped in part by an advance of 1.2%-1.3% for the major U.S. indexes. Among the blue chips, Sony Corp. rose 2.3%, Casio Computer Co. added 2.7%, and Fujitsu Ltd. advanced 2.4%. Insurers were in focus, with Tokio Marine Holdings Inc. up 1.1% after announcing a deal to buy U.S. peer HCC Insurance Holdings for $7.5 billion. Also in the sector, Dai-ichi Life Insurance Co. was up 2.2% as its president told the Nikkei in an interview that he wants Dai-ichi to become one of the world's top 5 life insurers by the end of the decade, in part through acquisitions. Auto makers underperformed after the release of China car-sales data for May the previous day, with Honda Motor Co. up 0.5%, and Nissan Motor Co. up 0.4% after posting almost flat China sales for the month. On the downside, stock in robot maker Fanuc Corp. retreated 2.4%, and though the reason for the drop wasn't immediately clear, the shares saw no help from news of its alliance with Tokyo-based Preferred Networks, as the tie-up had been tipped in reports earlier.
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