Tokyo stocks up on exporters
The Tokyo equities markets were higher on Wednesday. The Nikkei 225 added 0.7 percent to 17,350.12, while the Topix index gained 0.3 percent to 1,747.32. Most of the gains were among export-dependent companies, as investors grew more confident in the strength of the US economy as earnings reports from US-listed firms were strong and there were hints that US interest rates might pause in their upward movement soon.
Many of the gains came from the electronics and semiconductor sectors. Hitachi was up 1.3 percent to ¥863. Matsushita Electric, which makes the Panasonic brand of consumer electronics, added 0.9 percent to ¥2,795. Fujitsu advanced by 1.3 percent to ¥967 on a prediction of higher profits in the year just ended.
Mobile phone components maker Kyocera gained 3.1 percent to ¥11,170, helped by a positive quarterly report from US chipmaker Texas Instruments. Chipmaker Elpida Memory added 4.1 percent to ¥4,830 on an upgraded earnings prediction for the 2005/2006 due to reduced marketing and administration spending.
Among the losers on the day were consumer loan companies, which lost value on the news that a government panel could reduce the maximum interest rate they can charge customers. Promise dropped 4.1 percent to ¥6,800. Aiful, which was forced to close for three days last week over its aggressive collection methods, declined by 4.3 percent to ¥6,680.