Tokyo stocks rebound as eurozone debt fears subside

08:23, May 14, 2010      

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Tokyo stocks snapped a two-day losing streak rising more than 2 percent as upbeat corporate earnings reports and subsiding fears about European sovereign debt lifted investor sentiment Thursday.

The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average climbed 226.52 points, or 2. 18 percent, from Wednesday to 10,620.55.

The broader Topix index of all First Section issues on the Tokyo Stock Exchange was up 15.07 points, or 1.62 percent, to 947. 90.

Tokyo stocks were sent higher as European and U.S. markets gained on the news that eurozone countries such as Spain were taking measures to reduce national debt by reducing its public sector workforce and cutting salaries and Portugal plans to sell bonds.

In addition, news that the U.K. plans to slash its budget deficit under its new coalition government also lifted global markets.

"The eurozone problems had really weighed on the market, and reassurance after the Spanish announcement has allowed investors to turn their eyes to things like earnings and economic indicators for the first time in days," said one Tokyo-based analyst.

"That said, we can't know yet if these measures will work, and some continuing concern is still shifting funds into gold, sending it to quite high levels," he added.

Brokers also said that robust domestic corporate earnings reports that beat market expectations spurred buying in afternoon trade, as did a recovery in other Asian markets following a recent slump.

"Japanese corporate earnings have also been good. This apparent improvement in earnings should mean a correction in stock prices," said Mitsuo Shimizu, deputy general manager at Cosmo Securities.

"The Nikkei could find its way up to its 25-day moving average around 11,000 in the short-term," he said.

One analyst also added that if the euro, which has been hit by Europe's debt woes, could rise against the yen, Japanese shares could expect further gains.

The single European currency was trading in the lower 118 yen range, up from the upper 117 yen zone logged late on Wednesday during trading hours in Tokyo and the yen depreciated to as low as 93.48 against the dollar, compared with 92.68 at the close of stock trading in Tokyo yesterday.

Exporters cheer a weaker yen as it maximizes their competitiveness abroad and profits and profits aren't eroded when repatriated.

Subsequently, export-related issues rose on a comparatively weak yen and technology shares got a boost Thursday from robust domestic reports as well as from their U.S. counterparts.

Shares of Tokyo Electron Ltd., the world's second-largest maker of semiconductor equipment, soared 7 percent to 6,080 yen after the chip equipment maker forecast it would return to profit in the year to March 2011, as it expects the chip-making sector to receive further investment.

Elpida Memory Inc. gained 2.5 percent to 1,901 yen, following the firm announcing robust earnings and NEC rose more than 1 percent to 288 yen after saying it returned to profit in fiscal 2009, helped in part by narrowing losses at its chip making unit and restructuring its mobile phone business.

Meanwhile, Advantest Corp. added 3.2 percent to 2,342 yen and TDK Corp. jumped 4.6 percent to 6,210 yen.

Hitachi Ltd. advanced 2.5 percent to close at 410 yen and Fanuc Ltd., a maker of industrial robots that relies on 80 percent of its revenue from abroad, gained 2.5 percent to 10,200 yen.

Japan's automakers predominantly gained on solid earnings with Suzuki Motor Corp. rising 3.9 percent to 1,968 yen following news it plans to introduce a plug-in hybrid version of its Swift compact car.

However, Nissan Motor. Co. Ltd. skidded down 1.3 percent to 735 yen as Japan's No. 3 automaker's forecast for the current business year through March fell below market expectations.

Some 2.27 billion shares changed hands on the Tokyo exchange's First section, down from Wednesday's volume of 2.57 billion shares.

Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones by 1,242 to 343.



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