Japan Stocks Bounce Back, With Utilities Up On Weaker Oil

By MarketWatch Pulse

Japanese stocks came bouncing back Tuesday morning, shrugging off foreign selling and a negative cue from the U.S. to focus instead on stock-positive drops for oil and the yen. The Nikkei Average was up 1.4% in the first 20 minutes of trade, biting off a large chunk of its 2.1% loss the previous day, while the Topix enjoyed a 1.3% gain. Despite a second day of net selling by foreign brokerages monitored by Dow Jones Newswires, as well as moderate losses on Wall Street, the blue chips took support in part from the dollar's advance to �122.73, up from around �122.35 the day before. Among the gainers, Sony Corp. rallied 2.2%, Panasonic Corp. added 1.9%, while Sharp Corp. zoomed 5.6% higher. A plunge for crude-oil futures overnight boosted utility shares (Hokkaido Electric Power Co. up 3.5%, Hokkaido Electric Power Co. up 3.1%) as well as those for airlines (Japan Airlines Co. up 2.6%, ANA Holdings Inc. up 2.3%) and shippers (Nippon Yusen K.K. up 3.5%, Yamato Holdings Co. up 2.5%), while energy stocks were just slightly softer (Inpex Corp. down 0.3%, Japan Petroleum Exploration Co. flat). The auto makers were mixed, however, with Nissan Motor Co. down 0.4%, and Honda Motor Co. rising just 0.2% after saying it would scrap its ambitious sales targets, according to a Nikkei news report. On the upside, Toyota Motor Corp. added 0.8%, and forex-sensitive Mazda Motor Corp. added 2.9%.

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