Japan Stocks Make Modest Rebound, With Telecoms, Retailers Higher

By Michael KitchenMarketWatch Pulse

Japanese stocks staged a mild bounce early Tuesday -- despite expectations by some analysts for an extended drop as the Greek fiscal crisis comes to a head -- with a strong rebound in the euro helping some shares. The Nikkei Average was 0.3% higher about 10 minutes into the session, after suffering a 2.9% loss the day before. The Topix rose 0.2%, and while the dollar was a little weaker against the yen (buying �122.59), the euro recovered sharply against the Japanese currency, rising to �137.51 from �134.62 a day earlier. The forex action helped lift some exporters (Mazda Motor Corp. up 0.4%, Kyocera Corp. up 1.1%), but many of the major gainers were in defensive sectors, including telecoms and retailers, seen as relatively isolated from the Greek fallout. Among these, NTT DoCoMo Inc. advanced 1.8% and KDDI Corp. recovered 1.7%, while in the retail space, convenience-store operators FamilyMart Co. and Lawson Inc. improved by 1.5% apiece, and e-commerce major Rakuten Inc. added 2%. On the downside, financials sunk further amid concerns about Europe, with Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc. losing 1.1% and Mizuho Financial Group Inc. falling 1.5%.

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