Japanese stocks shuffled higher in their return from a three-day weekend, with techs rising amid continued softness for the yen (dollar at �124.31) and transports improving after deep losses for crude-oil futures. Both the Nikkei Average and Topix were each 0.5% higher about 20 minutes into the trading day. Blue-chip advancers included Hitachi Ltd. (up 1.2%), Sharp Corp. (up 1.8%), Casio Computer Co. (up 3.2%) and Fujitsu Ltd. (up 1.5%), though Sony Corp. eased 0.3% after recent gains. Shares of Toshiba Corp. outperformed after the company said an independent panel had put the overstatement of operating profit in 2008-14 at about $1.2 billion, apparently ending speculation on the size of the problem. Meanwhile, the retreat for oil prices since Tokyo last traded helped Japan Airlines Co. rise 2%, while shippers Mitsui O.S.K. Lines Ltd. and Nippon Yusen K.K. climbed 3.3% and 2.1%, respectively. Shares of Mitsubishi Materials Corp. were down 1.1%, as China's state media called on the company to issue a public apology for its alleged use of Chinese forced labor after the company made a similar apology to U.S. prisoners of war made to work in the company's mines during World War II.
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