Banks gain in Tokyo

Technology stocks and the banking sector were instrumental in a turnaround that saw the Tokyo equities markets gain on Thursday despite a slow start to the session. The Nikkei 225 added 0.7 percent to 15,834.23, while the Topix was 0.6 percent higher to 1,580.08.

Semiconductors-related stocks were up on the day. Advantest gained 2.3 percent to A?12,010, while Shin-Etsu Chemical, the worlda��s largest manufacturer of silicon wafers was 3.3 percent higher to A?7,430 on a reiteration of a a�?buya�? rating from UBS, which also raised Shin-Etsua��s target share price from A?8,000 to A?8,300.

Other export-related stocks also gained, but not as vigorously. While automobile manufacturer Toyota gained 1.8 percent to A?6,340 on an upgraded net profits outlook, entertainment and consumer electronics maker Sony added 0.6 percent to A?4,860.

Banks were 0.9 percent higher as a sector. Mitsubishi UFJ was 0.7 percent higher to A?1,460,000, while Mizuho gained 1.1 percent to A?899,000 and SMFG added 1.7 percent to A?1,170,000.

The consumer finance sector, however, saw further declines, as concerns persisted over attempts by the government to limit the amount of interest these non-bank lenders can charge for their loans. Acom was 3.5 percent lower on the session to A?4,690, while Aiful dropped 5.5 percent to A?4,330.

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