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Nikkei rises 0.7 pct, Honda gains on earnings

Written by: Staff

TOKYO, Oct 26: The Nikkei average rose 0.73 percent on Thursday as Honda Motor Co. Ltd. rose after raising its full-year forecasts and energy shares such as Nippon Oil Corp. gained on a jump in oil prices.

But the Tokyo market has already risen on hopes for better-than-forecast results, so it is having a tough time making significant additional gains, market analysts said.

Tsuyoshi Nomaguchi, strategist at Daiwa Securities, said the small gains in shares of semiconductor chip maker Elpida Memory Inc. despite the company's upbeat quarterly results this week shows how difficult it is to lure more buyers to the market.

''I doubt if there will be more upbeat earnings than Elpida's in the coming days as earnings get in full swing,'' he said.

''The tech sector is in focus as it has been a driving sector for the Tokyo market. But I cannot be optimistic.'' The Nikkei average was up 121.89 points at 16,821.19 as of 0145 GMT after falling 89 points in the previous two sessions.

The benchmark hit a five-month high of 16,901.53 on Tuesday.

Investors await a series of first-half earnings reports later in the day from big names such as Sony Corp., Nissan Motor Co.

Ltd., Nippon Steel Corp., JFE Holdings Inc., Fujitsu Ltd., Canon Inc., Nintendo Co. Ltd., Daiwa Securities Group Inc. and Nikko Cordial Corp.

The broad TOPIX index was up 0.73 percent at 1,665.43.

Shares of Honda rose 2.5 percent to 4,170 yen after Japan's third-largest auto maker raised its full-year forecasts on Wednesday to adjust for the weaker yen.

Shares of Sky Perfect Communications Inc. gained 4.3 percent to 68,500 yen.

The Nihon Keizai business daily reported that the satellite broadcaster will acquire satellite communications company JSAT Corp. and create a holding company next spring.

Shares of Elpida were up 1.1 percent at 5,550 yen, trimming a 2 percent fall the previous day as an initial reaction to the earnings results.

Elpida, which is vying with Micron Technology Inc. to be the world's fourth-biggest DRAM maker, on Tuesday reported a record second-quarter profit and raised its bit shipment outlook.

A jump in crude oil futures above per barrel helped oil stocks, with Japan's No.1 refiner Nippon Oil rising 3.3 percent to 888 yen.


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