Japan Stocks Snap Higher, With Sony Strong Ahead Of Briefing

MarketWatch Pulse

Japanese stocks got their groove on Wednesday morning, with the Nikkei Average swinging 0.8% higher (it eased 0.1% Tuesday) and the Topix up 1.2%, helped by a cheaper yen, hope for an extension to Greek rescue talks and a tepid gain for U.S. markets. The moves also came ahead of a Bank of Japan policy decision, with a Reuters survey suggesting no new moves this time around in spite of slowing inflation and lackluster consumer spending. As the dollar rallied to �119.19, up more than half a yen from late Tuesday's �118.53, the forex-sensitive stocks exhibited their usual Pavlovian response, with Panasonic Corp. up 2.5%, Nikon Corp. up 3.4%, and Japan Display Inc. up 2.8%. Hitachi Ltd. rose 2.3% as a Nikkei report said it was expanding its bank ATM business in India, while Sony Corp. improved by 3.5% ahead of a briefing on its new business plan from Chief Executive Kazuo Hirai slated for later in the day. Stock in Toyota Motor Corp. and Honda Motor Co. rose 0.9% and 0.2%, respectively, not enjoying the same scope of gains as some of the other blue chips, with a separate Nikkei report noting production cuts at the two auto makers due to the drag on sales from the labor dispute at U.S. West Coast ports. On the other hand, Nissan Motor Co. rallied 2.6%.

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