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Nikkei rises 0.45 pct after Wall Street recovers

Written by: Staff

Tokyo, Jul 7: The Nikkei average rose 0.45 percent on Friday as Toyota Motor Corp. rose together with other auto makers after a rebound in U.S. stocks restored some confidence in the sector.

Data showing the U.S. service sector grew more slowly than expected in June lessened the chances of further increases in U.S. interest rates, helping U.S. shares, said Yosuke Shimizu, head of Monex Inc.'s investment information centre.

''The market is reacting positively to gains in U.S. core stocks yesterday due to easing concerns about inflation,'' he said.

The Nikkei was up 69.07 points at 15,390.47 as of 0054 GMT after falling 317 points in the previous two sessions.

The broader TOPIX index was up 0.45 percent at 1,579.37.

Trade was slow, however, as many are awaiting the U.S. employment report for June, due out later in the day, to gauge the strength of the world's biggest economy and the outlook for inflation.

Toyota Motor, whose U.S. auto sales in June were higher than those of Ford Motor Co. and DaimlerChrysler combined, was up 1.5 percent at 5,980 yen.

Honda Motor Co. Ltd., Japan's third-biggest auto maker, gained 1.7 percent to 3,620 yen.

Komatsu Ltd., the world's second-biggest construction machinery maker, rose 1.8 percent to 2,275 yen.

On the other hand, Softbank Corp. sank 6.2 percent to 2,415 yen after Merrill Lynch said in a report on Friday that it had initiated coverage of the stock with a ''sell'' rating.

Merrill also said the fair-value share price is around 1,800 yen, and it voiced questions over Softbank's mobile phone business and about the synergies Softbank can expect from group firms such as Yahoo Japan Corp.


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