Japan Stocks Rise, With Earnings, Yen In Focus

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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