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Japan stocks soar on financial sector hopes

 A man walks in front of an electronic stock board of a securities firm in Tokyo, Japan, Wednesday, March 11, 2009. The benchmark Nikkei 225 stock ave...

Japan Markets

A man walks in front of an electronic stock board of a securities firm in Tokyo, Japan, Wednesday, March 11, 2009. The benchmark Nikkei 225 stock ave...

Japanese stocks rebounded with a vengeance Wednesday, fueled by new glimmers of hope about the ailing U.S. financial sector.
The benchmark Nikkei 225 stock average soared 321.14 points, or 4.6 percent, to 7,376.12. The broader Topix index climbed 2.7 percent to 722.28.
The gains followed Wall Street storming higher overnight on some unexpected good news from Citigroup Inc. The banking giant _ recently bailed out by the government _ said it operated at a profit during the first two months of the year.
The Dow Jones industrials surged nearly 6 percent _ its biggest one-day jump since late November.
Although it's unclear whether Wednesday's optimism represents a fundamental turning point, the Citibank news should provide solid support for the market at least through the fiscal year, which ends March 31, said Hideaki Higashi, assistant general manager at SMBC Friend Securities in Tokyo.
Even if Wednesday's rally is short-lived, Higashi said he "doubts the Nikkei will fall under 7,000, especially since authorities are taking steps to support the market."
Japanese financial issues were among the days' biggest winners.
Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc., the country's largest bank, shot up 4.1 percent to 411 yen, while rival Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc. added 4.8 percent to 2,820. Brokerage Nomura Holdings Inc. jumped 10.1 percent to 458 yen.
Electronics maker Toshiba Corp. closed up 9.5 percent at 238 yen on emerging hopes for an earnings recovery next fiscal year. The Tokyo-based company will likely hit an operating proft of 100 billion yen in the business year through March 2010, a turnaround from an expected 280 billion yen operating loss this year, according to the Nikkei financial daily without citing sources.
Better-than-expected economic data released in the morning also eased recent investor anxiety.
Japanese machinery orders, an indicator of how much the country's companies are spending, fell 3.2 percent in January from a month earlier, the government said. Although it was the fourth straight month of decline, the figure was higher than the 5.3 percent decline predicted in a Kyodo News survey of economists.
"Views of manufacturing data could be transitioning from a period of 'giving up all hope' to a period of 'looking for small signs of positive change' going forward," said Kyohei Morita, chief Japan economist at Barclays Capital in Tokyo.
In currencies, the dollar fell to 98.56 yen from 98.80 yen late Tuesday. The euro was trading at $1.2650 from $1.2702.


Updated : 2021-03-01 16:22 GMT+08:00