Japan Stocks Rise, With Earnings, Yen In Focus

MarketWatch Pulse

Japanese stocks extended their gains in early Monday trading, as the usually beneficial combination of an advance for U.S. shares and a move lower for the yen helped push the Nikkei Stock Average up 0.6% -- extending Friday's 1% gain. Tech and industrial exporters were reasonably well bid as the dollar bought �108.15, up from �107.92 at the previous Japanese stock close. Sony Corp. rose 0.9%, Nintendo Co. added 1.5%, Fujitsu Ltd. gained 1.4%, Casio Computer Co. traded 1.3% higher, and Panasonic Corp. improved by 1.2% as Kyodo News said its Sanyo Electric unit planned to sell its North American flat-screen-television business to Funai Electric Co. . Shares of Funai rallied 5.6% in early trade. On the other hand, Sharp Corp. retreated 1.9% after a Nikkei news report tipping its April-September operating profit to slip 10%. Auto stocks were mixed ahead of earnings releases for the sector, as Honda Motor Co. (set to report its results on Tuesday) added 0.8%, and Toyota Motor Corp. edged up 0.3%, but Nissan Motor Co. lost 0.3%, and Daihatsu Motor Co. dropped 1.5% as another Nikkei news report said the company's operating profit would likely miss forecasts, as margins shrank. Also moving on a Nikkei report were shares of Tokyo Electric Power Co. , jumping 5% after the newspaper tipped its pre-tax profit to almost triple, thanks in large part to cost-cutting. Still, Tepco's stock price remains well below its levels before the catastrophic 2011 earthquake that caused a major nuclear accident at the utility's Fukushima power plant.

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