Japan Stocks Rally As Yen Slips, With Nissan, Sharp Up

By Michael KitchenMarketWatch Pulse

Japanese stocks rallied in early Thursday trading, as a fall in the yen and a rise for U.S. shares helped ease jitters about Greece and lift the Nikkei Average 1.2% and the Topix by 1.1%. The moves extended the previous day's 0.5% advance on the back of positive results from the Bank of Japan's tankan business-sentiment survey. With the dollar buying �123.30, up significantly from �122.41 a day before, blue-chip exporters were broadly higher. Some of the names that suffered in recent sessions were strong, with Sony Corp. up 1.5%, TDK Corp. up 1.3%, and Sharp Corp. up 2.7% as Standard & Poor's removed its selective-default designation, sparked by a de facto debt-for-equity swap, putting its long-term corporate credit rating at B-. Other majors which rose earlier in the week also extended gains, with Konica Minolta Inc. up 3.2%, and Nidec Corp. up 2.6%. Stock in Uniqlo owner Fast Retailing Co. , with its strong global presence, rose 1.6%, while among the auto shares, Honda Motor Co. added 2.5%, and Nissan Motor Co. improved by 3%, thanks to robust results for its U.S. sales. Sanrio Co. slightly underperformed the market with a 0.8% gain, getting no apparent benefit from a Nikkei news report detailing its plans to produce a Hello Kitty movie, while on the downside, Shiseido Co. lost 1.6% after its strong climb Wednesday on the back of its sales results and decision to sell off subsidiary Ayura Laboratories.

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