Tokyo steel sector gains on consolidation rumors

The Tokyo equities markets saw gains on Monday, despite investor caution ahead of a decision on US interest rates by the US Federal Reserve and the release of the latest Tankan survey from the Bank of Japan, both due soon. Also limiting gains was a significant decline in the consumer finance sector. The Nikkei 225 and the Topix index each added 0.7 percent on the session, to 16,527.99 and 1,627.97 respectively.

The consumer finance sectora��s declines came after UBS forecast that lending would be down b y 30 percent in the next three years. Aiful dropped 3.4 percent to A?3,660, while Takefuji fell 4 percent to A?4,530 and Acom was 6 percent lower to A?4,260.

In the tobacco sector, Japan Tobacco added 2.9 percent to A?566,000, the third session of gains in a row for the company, as talk continued concerning its bid for UK tobacco company Gallaher.

Consolidator rumors sent the steel sector higher on the session even though some analysts see a successful hostile takeover of any Japanese steel company as only a slight possibility. Kobe Steel added 2.3 percent to A?402, while Sumitomo Metal Industries gained 3.2 percent to A?482. JFE was 3.8 percent higher to A?5,720 and Nippon Steel was up 4 percent to A?570.

The automobile manufacturing sector saw gains on a weakening yen. Toyota gained 1.4 percent to A?7,140, while Honda Motor added 1.7 percent to A?4,140.

Meanwhile the Osaka-listed games company Nintendo added 3.5 percent to A?28,650 on data showing that sales of its Wii video game console are booming in the US.

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