Japan Stocks Move Higher As Yen Goes Lower, But Sony Trades Down

MarketWatch Pulse

Japanese stocks opened from a position of strength Monday, with a sharply lower yen helping lift the Nikkei Average and Topix up 0.8% each, extending those indexes' Friday gains of 0.8% and 0.5%, respectively. The dollar was buying �119.05, off only slightly from its highs hit after the release of the U.S. jobs report Friday and well above its �117.32 level when Tokyo stocks last traded. Advancers included Sharp Corp. (up 1.3%), Fuji Electric Co. (up 2.2%), Seiko Epson Corp. (up 1.8%), Honda Motor Co. (up 1.2%), and Nissan Motor Co. (up 1.1% ahead of its earnings report, due after the close of trade). On the other hand, Nikon Corp. fell 2.5%, and Olympus Corp. lost 4.2%, on the back of their latest earnings and outlooks (Nikon shares had lost ground Friday as well), while Sony Corp. was down 1%, giving back a part of its robust gains from a post-earnings rally. A fresh investment by Dai-ichi Life Insurance Co. and unlisted Nippon Life Insurance into Resona Holdings Inc. -- as reported by the Nikkei -- propelled Resona shares up 2.8%, while those of Dai-Ichi Life rallied 3.2%. And after a separate Nikkei report tipping online retailer Rakuten Inc. to post a 15% gain in 2014 operating profit, Rakuten's stock was up 0.9%.

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