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Nikkei up 0.29% on upbeat U.S. jobless claims (2)


19:31, December 16, 2011

Japan's sea transport sector led gainers, with top-shipper Nippon Yusen climbing 4.8 percent to 196 yen and Mitsui O.S.K. Lines Ltd. rising 5.1 percent to 287 yen.

Also in the spotlight Friday were gaming-related issues, following the Tokyo debut of Nexon on Wednesday.

Social networking game producer Gree added 0.5 percent to 2,500 yen and DeNA jumped 5.2 percent, to 2,302 yen, both buoyed by Nomura Holdings giving the sector a "bullish" rating and a "buy" appraisal of both firm's stock.

But Nexon tumbled 11.6 percent to 1,100 yen, following a negative start for the firm founded in Seoul but headquartered in Tokyo.

Nexon, with 17-years in the gaming industry, offers its games free online but charges users money to purchase virtual goods like weapons, special powers and outfits for gamers' characters. The firm made its market debut on Wednesday following the largest initial public offering of the year in Japan at 1.2 billion U.S. dollars.

Among export-related issues, industrial robotics maker Fanuc gained 1.3 percent to 12,230 yen and consumer electronics bellwether Sony Corp. rose 1.1 percent to 1,360 yen.

But automakers lost ground Friday with Toyota Motor skidding down 1.9 percent to 2,498 yen, while smaller rival Mazda Motor relinquished 1.5 percent to close at 136 yen.

Scandal-hit Olympus dropped 3.6 percent to 1,004 yen, following the firm's President Shuichi Takayama saying he would consider merger offers to raise much-needed capital as the company continues to draw fire for covering up huge investment losses dating back to the 1990s.

Trading volume on Friday dropped to 1.47 billion shares on the Tokyo Exchange's First Section, down from Thursday's volume of 1. 54 billion shares, with declining issues outnumbering advancing ones by 1,000 to 495.

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