Japan Stocks Rise After Weak Open, But Softbank Retreats

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Japanese stocks opened lower Wednesday but clawed their way back up to modest gains, with the move following back-to-back sessions of sharp rallies from the central bank's fresh easing last Friday. In early moves, the Nikkei Stock Average was up 0.2%, recovering from a 0.5% loss at the open to extend the previous day's 2.7% rise. The broader Topix rose 0.1%. The Japanese yen -- the weakness of which had juiced shares on the past two trading days -- was little changed from levels seen at the Tokyo stock close Tuesday, with the dollar buying �113.69. Among the movers, Softbank Corp. dropped 2.9%, with results from its U.S. subsidiary Sprint Corp. prompting the Japanese telecom to cut its full-year profit forecast. Nissan Motor Co. -- which posted a 22% rise in quarterly operating profit but also cut its sales forecast due to weak demand in China -- saw its shares rises 1.6%. Among the other auto stocks, Honda Motor Co. rose 1.5%, Subaru maker Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. gained 1.8%, but Toyota Motor Corp. slipped 0.2% ahead of its earnings report, due out later in the day. Japan Airlines Co. rose 2.1% on the strength of its quarterly results, while Panasonic Corp. extended its post-earnings rally with another 1.2% in share-price gains. Energy stocks were among the decliners, tracking the heavy losses in crude oil, with JX Holdings Inc. down 3.2% and Inpex Corp. off 2.1%.

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