Japan Stocks Cruise Higher Ahead Of Major Earnings

MarketWatch Pulse

Japanese stocks came bopping back Tuesday with modest gains after a strong session on the U.S. markets overnight, but the 0.3% advance for the Nikkei Average wasn't enough to erase the 0.7% loss in the previous session. The Topix was also 0.3% higher in early trade, while the U.S. dollar bought �117.46, slightly weaker than its �117.57 level at the previous Tokyo stock close. Some of the internationally favored blue chips tracked the Wall Street gains, with Sony Corp. -- which announced plans to increase its output of smartphone sensors -- up 1.8%, NEC Corp. up 1.9%, Nikon Corp. up 1.3%, and Casio Computer Co. up 2.1%, though on the downside, Bridgestone Corp. fell 1.9%, and Konica Minolta Inc. gave up 0.9%. Among shares of companies set to report their earnings later in the day, Panasonic Corp. rose 1.8%, Sharp Corp. added 1.3%, and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc. led the major bank stocks with a 1.5% gain. A Nikkei news report that Astellas Pharma Inc. would soon top Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. in terms of profit helped sent Astellas shares up 2%, while Takeda lost 0.8%. Honda Motor Co. eased 0.4% on reports it was cutting some production in Japan. And real-estate shares were broadly weaker, with Mitsui Fudosan Co. down 0.8%, and Sumitomo Realty & Development Co. down 0.7%, but with Tokyu Fudosan Holdings Corp. managing to edge up 0.1% as a separate Nikkei report said the company would post a 5% operating-profit gain for the April-December period.

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