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Nikkei rises, tech and energy stocks gain

Written by: Staff
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TOKYO, June 29 (Reuters) The Nikkei share average gained 1.03 percent on Thursday as technology shares such as Sony Corp.

rose following advances in their US counterparts and energy stocks climbed on higher oil prices.

The stock market brushed off data showing that Japan's industrial production fell 1.0 percent in May from a month earlier, steeper than a median market forecast for a 0.1 percent decline.

Analysts said expectations are increasing that the stock market will rise following the U.S. Federal Reserve's decision on rate hikes later on Thursday and the Bank of Japan's key corporate sentiment tankan survey on Monday.

''Investors appear to be taking chances that the market will rise,'' said Tsuyoshi Nomaguchi, a Japanese equity research strategist at Daiwa Securities Co Ltd.

Tatsuyuki Kawasaki, director of equities trading at Kaneyama Securities, agreed.

''Before any rate hikes, concerns tend to emerge and stock or bond markets get volatile. But once rates are set, the markets turn solid as investors fix their investment allocations accordingly,'' he said.

The Nikkei share average was up 152.81 points at 15,038.92 as of 0057 GMT, after dropping 1.88 percent on Wednesday. The broader TOPIX index rose 0.98 percent to 1,542.42.

Consumer electronics maker Sony gained 2.1 percent to 4,910 yen and Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. Ltd., the maker of Panasonic goods, rose 1.5 percent to 2,360 yen.

Nippon Oil Corp., Japan's biggest oil distributor, jumped 3.8 percent to 803 yen after the company said it would raise wholesale prices of gasoline and other products by up to 7 yen per litre in July.

Also supporting the oil sector were crude oil prices above a barrel in New York on concern about heavy U.S. demand for gasoline ahead of the July 4 Independence Day holiday.

Oil producer AOC Holdings Inc. rose 3 percent to 1,855 yen.

Reuters SK VP0720

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