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Tokyo: Nikkei touches near 1-week peak as US gains lift tech shares


[TOKYO] Japan's Nikkei share average rose on Wednesday, continuing its recovery from last week's sharp downturn with a turnaround by Wall Street peers lifting technology stocks.

The Nikkei ended the day up 1.29 per cent at 22,841.12 after touching 22,959.41, its highest since Oct 11. The index rose for the second straight day following Monday's descent to a five-week low.

"The Nikkei appears to have bottomed out," said Soichiro Monji, senior economist at Daiwa SB Investments.

"The latest tumble was not driven by convincing factors - the market may have needed to adjust after its sharp rally and upcoming corporate earnings should provide evidence of solid economic fundamentals," he said.

The Nikkei had soared to a 27-year high on Oct 2, before being dragged down by Wall Street's tumble.

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US stocks surged more than 2 per cent on Tuesday, rebounding from the recent sell-off, lifted by the technology sector, robust corporate earnings and upbeat economic data.

Japan's technology shares tracked US counterparts, with Tokyo Electron rising 3 per cent, Screen Holdings gaining 5.4 per cent and Advantest Corp adding 3.5 per cent.

Exporters also rose as the yen retreated from a five-week peak versus the dollar.

Toyota Motor Corp climbed 1.3 per cent, Honda Motor Co advanced 0.9 per cent and Panasonic Corp 1.2 per cent.

SoftBank Group Corp rose 2.1 per cent following a Wall Street Journal report that ride-hailing company Uber Technologies Inc could be valued at US$120 billion when it goes public next year.

SoftBank is Uber's largest shareholder and its shares had sunk at the start of this week on investor concerns over its ties to Saudi Arabia.

Nojima Corp soared 16.6 per cent after the chain store operator of electric appliances raised its net profit forecast for the six months through September 2018 to 7.2 billion yen (S$88.3 million) from 6 billion yen on factors including strong air-conditioner sales during the summer heat wave.

The broader Topix gained 1.54 per cent to 1,713.87 with all but two of its 33 subsectors in positive territory.

Sea transport, one of the two declining subsectors, lost 7.2 per cent on a slide by shipping companies.

Mitsui OSK Lines fell 7.5 per cent after lowering its net profit outlook as earnings from Ocean Network Express, a container shipping company formed in April with Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha and Nippon Yusen, fell short of expectations.

Kawasaki Kisen sank 14.3 per cent, with the company bracing for a net loss of 21.5 billion yen for the year ending March 2019.


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