Japan Stocks Start Higher, With Financials Strong After U.S. Earnings

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Japanese stocks started with gains Tuesday, helped by a weaker yen and a strong U.S. advance, almost the exact opposite situation from Monday's open. The Nikkei Stock Average improved by 0.6%, with the broader Topix up 0.9%, as the dollar traded at �119.37, rising from �118.83 at the previous Tokyo stock close. Strong gains for the main U.S. indexes, along with healthy earnings results for Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Morgan Stanley , appeared to boost Japanese financial shares. Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc. rallied 2.2%, with rivals Mizuho Financial Group Inc. and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc. up 1.3% each, while among some of the smaller names, Orix Corp. added 2.2%, and Credit Saison Co. jumped 5.2%. Among other gainers, NEC Corp. rose by 1.3% after a Nikkei news report said the technology major would post an eight-year-high profit for the current fiscal year ending next March. Pharmaceutical player Daiichi Sankyo Co. saw its shares climb 2.5% on news the company plans to sell off its stake in India's Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. which it acquired in its sale of fellow Indian drug maker, Ranbaxy Laboratories Ltd. . And stock in Takata Corp. improved by 2.4% as the auto-parts maker, still suffering from a rash of recalls over defective airbags, trimmed its loss for the year to just above 2%. On the downside, Canon Inc. pulled back 0.7% as a Nikkei report tipped its quarterly operating profit to have fallen "about 15%" from a year earlier. Competitor Nikon Corp. lost 2%, extending losses from a day earlier on the back of a downgrade to its shares from Soci�t� G�n�rale.

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