Nikkei nudges up despite weak machinery orders

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Tokyo, Oct 11: The Nikkei average edged up on Thursday despite some weak economic data out before the open, gaining 0.1 percent following a mixed session on Wall Street.

Nintendo Co Ltd continued to climb after it said it would start selling its ''Wii Fit'' home fitness game in Japan in time for the critical year-end shopping season.

Weak August machinery orders figures out before the open appeared to have little impact on share prices.

''They (the figures) are neutral for the market since they came roughly in line with forecasts,'' said Kenichi Hirano, operating officer at Tachibana Securities.

Japan's core private-sector machinery orders, a key gauge of corporate capital spending, fell 7.7 percent in August from the previous months, the government data showed. That compared with economists' consensus forecast for a 6.0 percent decline.

As of 0126 GMT, the benchmark Nikkei was up 20.14 points at 17,198.03. The broader TOPIX index was flat at 1,658.20.

Sony Financial Holdings Inc, Sony's financial unit, opened up 5 percent from its IPO price of 400,000 yen.

Nintendo was up 2.6 percent at 67,500 yen after touching an all-time high of 68,000 yen. Rival Sony fell 1.4 percent to 5,700 yen, becoming one of the biggest drags on the Nikkei.

Eisai Co Ltd was up 1.5 percent at 5,430 yen after the Nikkei business daily reported the drugmaker's first-half operating profit likely climbed 9 percent to a record of about 54 billion yen on higher sales of its Alzheimer's drug Aricept.

Shippers were also buoyant thanks to rising freight rates.

Mitsui OSK Lines Ltd rose 1.4 percent to 1,943 after touching an all-time high of 1,968 yen and Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha Ltd gained 2.2 percent to 1,709 yen.


Reuters>

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