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Japan Stocks Swing Back To Gains, Helped By Yen, Data

MarketWatch Pulse

Japanese stocks cracked higher in early Tuesday action, with the Nikkei Stock Average up 0.8%, erasing the previous session's 0.6% loss, while the Topix made a 0.5% advance. Modest gains for U.S. shares overnight, a somewhat weaker yen (with the dollar at �114.97, up from �114.05 at Monday's stock close), and data showing a better-than-expected rise for Japan's current-account surplus all helped to fuel the advance. The blue-chip exporters led the gains, with Nikon Corp. up 1.6%, Sharp Corp. up 1%, Nintendo Co. up 1.4%, Seiko Epson Corp. up 1.3%, Toyota Motor Corp. up 1.1%, and Nissan Motor Co. up 1.7%. Telecoms also strengthened, as NTT DoCoMo Inc. bounced 1.4% higher -- coinciding with the unveiling of its new Jspeak translation service -- while KDDI Corp. added 2%, and Softbank Corp. rose 1.6%. Stock in Sony Corp. inched 0.1% higher, failing to make much hay from its President Kazuo Hirai telling the Nikkei that a turnaround plan for Sony's ailing smartphone business will be in place by March. And Bridgestone Corp. fell 1.3% after an earnings report that included declines in China and Europe sales.

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