Japanese stocks rattled higher in early Monday trade, helped by strong performances from select blue chips, with the Nikkei Average up 0.4% in the first 15 minutes of the morning session, extending the benchmark's 0.8% advance Friday. The broader Topix was up more solidly with a 0.7% gain, while the yen was little changed from its levels at the last Tokyo stock session, as the dollar bought �119.41, compared to �119.38 Friday. Shares of Nippon Telegraph & Telephone Corp. were up 2.3% after Japan's top fixed-line telecom posted a decline in fiscal-year profit but said it saw earnings-per-share jumping by close to 50% during the current fiscal year ending in March 2016. Shares of Dai-ichi Life Insurance Co. surged 7.2%, juiced by its own financial results which, a Nikkei news report noted, included a revenue gain that propelled Dai-ichi above key rival, the unlisted mutual Nippon Life Insurance Co. Stock in Hitachi Ltd. added 1.2% as a separate Nikkei report said the company had snagged a railway-signal contract in Myanmar, while other big-name advancers included Konica Minolta Inc. (up 2%), Sony Corp. (up 0.8%), Renesas Electronics Corp. (up 2.8%), Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc. (up 2.9%) and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc. (up 2.6%). Stock in Honda Motor Co. rose 0.9% after its launch of a new compact wagon called the Shuttle, though smaller rivals Daihatsu Motor Co. and Isuzu Motors Ltd. outperformed, rising 2.1% and 1.7%, respectively. On the downside, Toshiba Corp. retreated 1.2% after disclosing Friday further details on its accounting problems which forced the company to withdraw its profit forecasts and delay its earnings report. Sharp Corp. was down 2.2%, extending losses made the previous week on the back of its restructuring plan.
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