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Nikkei rises 0.6 pct as exporters, brokers gain

Written by: Staff
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TOKYO, July 4 (Reuters) The Nikkei average rose 0.57 percent on Tuesday, with shares of exporters such as Canon Inc. bolstered by gains in U S stocks and easing concerns about the outlook for U S interest rates.

Brokerage shares extended gains into a fourth session as the Bank of Japan's quarterly tankan survey released on Monday showed Japan's economy is recovering steadily, supporting bullish views on the stock market.

''A consensus is forming that the worst is already behind us,'' said Koichi Seki, manager at Chuo Securities' sales marketing department, referring to the Nikkei's slump close to the 14,000 level last month.

''Things look better in this market,'' he said, adding that an expected end to the BOJ's zero-interest-rate policy as early as next week is unlikely to deter the economy from expanding.

The Nikkei was up 88.62 points at 15,660.24 as of 0057 GMT. The TOPIX index was up 0.62 percent at 1,603.06, clearing the 1,600 mark for the first time in a month.

Shares of exporters were in favour after weaker-than-expected U.S. economic data lessened concerns about further rises in U.S.

interest rates. Higher U.S. rates are seen crimping consumer spending in the key market for Japanese products.

Canon, the world's biggest digital camera maker, was up 3.1 per cent at 5,720 yen.

Fellow exporter Toyota Motor Corp., the world's second-biggest auto maker, was up 1.7 percent at 6,060 yen.

Toyota was also helped by news that its U S sales rose 14 per cent in June thanks to the fuel efficiency of its line-up, while all three big American auto makers saw their U.S. sales fall.

Shares of Daiwa Securities Group Inc., Japan's second-biggest brokerage, rose 2.5 percent to 1,430 yen after it said on Tuesday it would enter the security-backed lending business for individual clients to meet demand.

Bigger rival Nomura Holdings Inc. was up 1.4 percent at 2,215 yen.

Aeon Co., Japan's second-biggest retail group, climbed 4.1 per cent to 2,675 yen after the Nihon Keizai business daily said the company would likely post a 27 percent rise in its quarterly profit on higher margins in its core supermarket operations.

Aeon is set to announce its March-May results on Wednesday.

REUTERS DH BST0743

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