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Japan stocks rise on US economic optimism

Japan stocks rise on US economic optimism

Good news about U.S. consumers and home prices fueled Japan's benchmark index to an 11-month high Wednesday.
The benchmark Nikkei 225 stock average rose 142.35 points, or 1.4 percent, to 10,639.71 _ the highest closing level since Oct. 6. The broader Topix index gained 1.1 percent to 975.5.
A strong rebound in Chinese shares also lifted sentiment.
Overnight in the U.S., the Conference Board's consumer confidence index beat expectations and jumped to 54.1 this month from an upwardly revised 47.4 in July. Meanwhile, the Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price Index rose 1.4 percent in the second quarter from the January-March period, the first quarterly increase in three years.
Brightening prospects for the U.S. economy _ a key market for Japanese companies _ lifted exporters including auto and electronics makers.
NEC Electronics Corp. soared more than 11 percent to 980 yen. The Nikkei financial daily reported Tuesday that Hitachi Ltd., Mitsubishi Electric Corp. and NEC Corp. are nearing a deal to extend 200 billion ($2.1 billion) yen in aid help chipmakers NEC Electronics and Renesas Technology Corp. merge.
Shares of Toyota Motor Corp. advanced 1.5 percent to 4,110 yen after the world's biggest automaker announced its latest production cuts, spurring investor hopes for better efficiency and profits. Toyota has been re-examining its global strategy after reporting its worst-ever loss for the fiscal year ended in March.
The company will suspend production at one of two lines at a factory in central Aichi prefecture, Japan from spring of next year until the second half of 2011, lowering its overall capacity by 220,000 vehicles, spokesman Paul Nolasco said.
The U.S. housing price data triggered swift buying in cement companies. Mitsubshi Materials Corp., the No. 2 supplier in California, rose 6.4 percent to 282 yen, and Taiheiyo Cement Corp. added 2.6 percent to 158 yen.
"An upturn in the housing market is likely to lift demand for cement, which would be positive for the U.S. operations of Mitsubishi Materials and Taiheiyo Cement," said Shinya Yamada, an analyst for Credit Suisse in Tokyo.
In currencies, the dollar was trading at 94.05 yen from 94.19 yen late Tuesday. The euro stood little changed at $1.4306.


Updated : 2021-05-13 08:17 GMT+08:00