Japan Stocks Rally As Hitachi Hikes Profit Estimates

Japanese stocks Friday morning celebrated a weaker yen, stronger U.S. stocks and a sharp upgrade to Hitachi Ltd.'s earnings outlook, all of which helped to propel the Nikkei Average up 1.5% and the Topix up 1.4%. Hitachi was among the leading blue-chip gainers, rising 5.2% after hiking its fiscal-first-half estimates, including a 37% increase to expected net profit. This appeared to support techs more broadly, as did a rise in the dollar to �108.17, up from �107.21 at the previous Tokyo stock close. Advancers included Toshiba Corp. (up 3.1%), TDK Corp. (up 2.1%), Renesas Electronics Corp. (up 4%) and Japan Display Inc. (up 2.6%). Among other big names, Toyota Motor Corp. and Softbank Corp. added 2.1% each, though Honda Motor Co. traded flat after saying its top officers were taking pay cuts due to recalls and quality problems, according to a Dow Jones Newswires report.

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