Japanese shares up 1.79% in morning

Japanese shares up 1.79% in morning


Tokyo: Japanese share prices rose a sharp 1.79% in morning trade Tuesday, 25 December, with sentiment lifted by Wall Street’s holiday season gains, dealers said.

The Japanese market, reopening after a three-day weekend, was also supported by a relatively weak yen, which boosts shares of exporters.

The Tokyo Stock Exchange’s benchmark Nikkei-225 index gained 272.43 points to hit 15,529.43 at the end of the morning session. The broader Topix index of all first-section shares was up 25.76 points or 1.75% at 1,494.96.

Gainers outnumbered decliners 1,211 to 407 with 92 issues unchanged.

Volume traded dropped to 672 million shares from 878 million shares on Friday.

Wall Street jumped overnight after Merrill Lynch said it had secured up to $6.2 billion in fresh capital, raising hopes that the worst is over in a credit crunch triggered by the troubled US housing sector.

“The positive earnings from investment banks last week and the news on Merrill brought a kind of pause in the subprime problem," said Yoshikiyo Shimamine, chief economist at Dai-Ichi Life Research Institute.

The market is expected to stay firm until the US banks report their earnings in January, barring any negative surprises from upcoming US economic data, he said.

Major gainers included banks and property companies. Mizuho Financial Group Inc jumped 20,000 yen or 3.7% to 563,000 yen while Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group rose 41 yen or 3.9% to 1,082 yen.

Mitsubishi Estate Co advanced 110 yen or 4.3% to 2,695 yen and Mitsui Fudosan added 115 yen or 4.8% to 2,510 yen.

NTT DoCoMo Inc rose 6,000 yen or 3.3% to 19,0000 yen after the Nikkei business daily reported that Japan’s biggest cellular phone operator will incorporate Internet search and e-mail features from Google Inc into its i-mode mobile Internet service.

Winners among exporters included Sony Corp which gained 160 yen or 2.6% at 6,270 yen and Toyota Motor Corp which edged up 80 yen or 1.4% to 6,100 yen.