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Nikkei rises, Nikon, KDDI higher on earnings

Written by: Staff

Tokyo, Apr 26: The Nikkei average rose 0.31 percent on Wednesday as investors bought stocks with improved earnings prospects such as precision machinery maker Nikon Corp. and telecoms firm KDDI Corp.

A raft of earnings reports for the past year ended in March are due out after the market close, including those of Sharp Corp., the world's biggest maker of liquid crystal display TVs, Honda Motor Co., Japan's third-biggest auto maker, and No.2 brokerage Daiwa Securities Group Inc ''Stocks with upbeat earnings such as Nikon and KDDI are luring bottom-fishing investors,'' said Tsuyoshi Nomaguchi, strategist at Daiwa Securities.

''When looking back, the sell-off the day before yesterday was clearly overdone. So, it's in a process of a technical rebound,'' he said.

The Nikkei was up 52.20 points at 17,022.49 as of 0103 GMT.

On Tuesday it gained 0.33 percent, reclaiming some of the previous session's 2.81 percent loss.

The TOPIX index was up 0.12 percent at 1,721.87.

Camera and chip-equipment maker Nikon climbed 6 percent to 2,195 yen. Nikon said late on Tuesday that it would beat its own 2005/06 operating profit estimate by 25 percent and would boost its dividend, helped by a weaker yen, and cost cuts at its semiconductor stepper business.

KDDI rose 4.6 percent to 686,000 yen after Japan's No.2 telecoms company on Tuesday reported a full-year profit in line with expectations.

KDDI President Tadashi Onodera said in a news conference that the company hit bottom last year in terms of losses in its fixed-line unit. KDDI expects to begin introducing a high-speed fibre-optic service this year that will be more competitive with front runner Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corp. (NTT).

But Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc., Japan's third biggest banking group, lost 3.1 percent to 1.24 million yen on a newspaper report that Japan's banking regulator would soon impose administrative action against the bank for coercing borrowers into accepting higher interest rates on loans.


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