Japanese stocks snapped higher at the Tuesday open, with big tech and industrial names helping lead the Nikkei Average up 0.9% after a 0.1% dip the day before. The broader Topix scored a 0.6% advance, though volumes were reportedly thin ahead of a Bank of Japan decision due later in the day. While the central bank wasn't expected to adjust its current policy or economic outlook at the Tuesday meeting, many economists tipped further easing in the year ahead -- and certainly, market interest Tuesday appeared focused on the hunt for return on equity. Fanuc Corp. , which rallied the previous week after a Nikkei news report said the robot maker was looking to hike its dividend and/or buy back shares, saw further gains, rising 2.1%. A fresh Nikkei item suggesting the same focus on returning money to shareholders at Hitachi Ltd. and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. helped to send those names up 1.9% and 1%, respectively. And yet another Nikkei report, this one saying Tokyo Gas Co. was preparing to make one of its largest share buybacks ever, aided in boosting its stock 2.4%. Among other notable movers, TDK Corp. rose 2.2%, Rohm Co. added 2.2%, Chugai Pharmaceutical Co. led drug-maker gains with a 1.9% advance, and Daiwa Securities Group Inc. and Nomura Holdings Inc. improved by 1.8% and 1%, respectively, following a rally in U.S. shares overnight. Toyota Motor Corp. was the best performing of the autos, up 0.9% despite the company's move to raise salaries by the largest margin in more than a decade. On the downside, Sony Corp. extended recent losses with a 1.1% drop, as investors pulled a bit more money out of the stock, which has risen more than 24% so far this year.
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