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Written by: Staff
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TOKYO, May 10: The Nikkei average was up 0.25 percent on Wednesday, supported by recovery in some exporters such as Toyota Motor Corp. on bargain-hunting.

But Minebea Co. Ltd. slumped on poor earnings results for the latest business year.

Toyota is to announce full-year earnings later in the day along with Softbank Corp., Japan Airlines Corp. (JAL), Toray Industries Inc., Nippon Mining Holdings Inc., Olympus Corp. and Casio Computer Co. Ltd.

Trade was subdued as investors were cautious before an interest-rate policy meeting of the U.S. Federal Reserve later in the day and its impact on the foreign exchange market. Similar investor concern had taken a toll on shares of Japanese exporters on Tuesday.

''The market is taking a wait-and-see attitude ahead of the FOMC meeting, with few investors taking action,'' said Zenshiro Mizuno, senior managing director at Marusan Securities.

''A level of 110 yen (to the dollar) is very important,'' he said.

Japan's large manufacturers estimated on average a dollar/yen rate of 110.60 in the year to next March, according to the latest survey by the Bank of Japan.

The dollar was trading around 111.10 yen early on Wednesday, up 0.1 percent from Tuesday, when it slipped to 110.88 yen, its lowest level since September.

The Nikkei average was up 42.38 points at 17,233.29 as of 0106 GMT after erasing opening losses.

The TOPIX index was up 0.19 percent at 1,750.86.

While the Fed is widely expected to raise short-term rates by a quarter percentage point, investors will focus on the central bank's accompanying statement for clues on whether there will be a pause in nearly two years of interest-rate rises in one of the largest markets for Japanese exports.

Toyota, the world's second-biggest auto maker, was up 0.3 percent at 6,750 yen. Honda Motor Co. Ltd., Japan's No.3 auto maker, was down 0.2 percent at 8,220 yen.

Minebea lost 5.4 percent to 724 yen after the maker of miniature bearings posted a 23.7 percent drop in group net profit for the year to March.

JAL, Asia's fourth-largest airline by market value, fell 1.3 percent to 307 yen.

The Nihon Keizai business daily reported on Wednesday that JAL plans to raise about 150 billion yen ($1.3 billion) by issuing preferred shares to Japanese financial institutions. The money would be used in part to cover bond redemptions next year, the paper said.

REUTERS

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