Tokyo: Japan’s Nikkei average climbed 1.4% to a four-month high on Thursday and the broader Topix index rose 2% on a wave of positive sentiment set off by Sony Corp, which rose over 9% after announcing a bigger-than-expected outlook.
Nippon Steel Corp and other steelmakers surged after a report that Toyota Motor Corp has agreed with it and other top Japanese steelmakers to pay over 30% more for sheet steel, while bank shares also powered higher.
“Sony’s results are being taken very positively by the market, setting off expectations of more rises down the road, and this is working as a big overall plus psychologically,” said Katsuhiko Kodama, a senior strategist at Toyo Securities.
Sony shares went untraded for half an hour after the start of trade due to a flood of buy orders. They first changed hands at their daily limit-high, up more than 10%.
By 0426 GMT Sony was up 9.3% at 5,310 yen, the biggest contributor to the Nikkei’s rise.
The benchmark Nikkei rose over 200 points to 14,322.46, a four-month high. The broader Topix was up 2% at 1,400.17.
Institutional investors appeared to be venturing into the market to snap up bank shares and blue-chips, Kodama said, with buying by hedge funds that has been detected over the past few days continuing.
Exporters, boosted in early trade by a weaker yen, were still going strong in the afternoon despite the dollar’s slipping back to around 105 yen
Honda Motor Co Ltd rose 4.2% to 3,460 yen and Canon Inc climbed 2.4% to 5,660 yen. Toyota was up 2.3% at 5,400 yen.