Japan Stocks Edge Higher; Sharp Plunges On Fundraising Report

MarketWatch Pulse

Japanese stocks bopped modestly higher in early Tuesday trade, with a weaker yen helping some tech names, but with Sharp Corp. plunging on a report it will seek financial help from its two main creditors. The Nikkei Stock Average rose 0.2%, off its opening high but still enough to double its 0.2% advance on Monday. The broader Topix also added 0.2%. With the dollar back above �120 (buying �120.15 vs. �119.96 at the previous close), some of the tech exporters floated higher, including Olympus Corp. (up 1.3%), Fuji Electric Co. (up 1%), Japan Display Inc. (up 1.9%), and Trend Micro Inc. (up 1.4%). But those gains were offset in part by a 8.3% drop for Sharp, as the Nikkei reported the company was seeking a $1.24 billion debt-for-equity swap as it prepares for a restructuring, "including closing four plants and exiting or selling its money-losing solar-panel business." Some of the other top tech names swung to negative territory after Sharp opened for trade, with Hitachi Ltd. off 0.1%, and Sony Corp. down 0.8% despite a 0.7% overnight gain for its U.S.-listed shares. Among other movers, NTT DoCoMo Inc. rose 1.4% -- the only major telecom to trade higher Tuesday morning -- amid news it would be conducting a test of 5G wireless service with Nokia Corp. , according to Dow Jones. Chugai Pharmaceutical Co. rose 2.2% after it and U.S.-based Athersys Inc. announced a partnership to market an ischemic stroke treatment in Japan.

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