Japan Stocks Tiptoe Higher, With Real-estate Shares Strong

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Tokyo stocks shrugged off a negative lead from the U.S. markets to trade mildly higher early Wednesday, though the action was flattish ahead of a Japanese economic-data rush, slated for Friday morning. The Nikkei Stock Average improved by 0.2%, erasing its 0.2% loss in the previous session, while the Topix rose 0.3%. The dollar was just a little higher against the yen -- buying �119.77 compared to �119.55 late Tuesday -- and the big exporters were mixed. Sharp Corp. lost 0.8%, Sony Corp. and Nissan Motor Co. were both little changed, Hitachi Ltd. added 0.2%, and Toyota Motor Corp. rose 0.1%. Product launches appeared to help some names, with Nikon Corp. up 2.4% as the company reportedly unveiled several new cameras, and Citizen Holdings Co. adding 1.4% as the Nikkei reported its Citizen Electronics unit had developed "one of the world's thinnest switches for use in smartphones and wearable devices." Real-estate shares returned to gains, with Mitsubishi Estate Co. up 1.2%, and Mitsui Fudosan Co. up 2.5%, while the megabank stocks pulled a little lower, with Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc. and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc. down 0.2% each. Stock in Nippon Telegraph & Telephone Corp. rallied 3.6%, though the reason for the move wasn't immediately apparent.

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