Japan Stocks Rise, Helped By Batch Of Good Earnings

MarketWatch Pulse

Japanese stocks extended their gains in early Thursday action, helped by some strong earnings and a weaker yen. The Nikkei Stock Average was 0.7% firmer in initial moves, adding to a 1.5% rise a day earlier, while the Topix also added 0.7%. Helping underpin the market was a bump up for the U.S. dollar after what some economists saw as a hawkish tone to the Federal Reserve policy statement out overnight. Early in Tokyo session, the greenback was changing hands at �108.94, up from around �108.11 at the previous close. But earnings took the spotlight, with several blue chips sporting sharp advances after their results. Hitachi Ltd. rose 2.1% after reporting its quarterly net profit almost tripled, prompting it to raise its full-year forecast. Likewise, shares of Nintendo Co. improved by 3.4% after it posted a swing to quarterly profit that was higher than analysts' average expectation, and Renesas Electronics Corp. surged 6.7% after it too swung to a profit, in this case for the April-September period. Videogame maker Capcom Co. also got a post-earnings boost, its stock rising 5.7%. But it wasn't all good news, as Mitsubishi Motors Corp. lost 5.3% after the automaker cut its sales forecast, and Yahoo Japan Corp. retreated 5.8% following results showing a 3.4% drop in quarterly net income. Among other movers, Sony Corp. -- due to report earnings at the end of this week -- fell 1%, giving back some of its big gains Wednesday, and Sharp Corp. lost 1.1%, while gainers included Softbank Corp. (up 1.5%), Honda Motor Co. (up 1.5% after recent earnings-related losses) and Fast Retailing Co. (up 1.2%).

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