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Nikkei, Topix each add 0.3 percent

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by Elaine Frei

In Tokyo on Monday the Nikkei 225 and the Topix index each added 0.3 percent on the session, to close at 17,470.46 and 1,733.59 respectively.

Export-focused sectors benefited as the yen weakened versus the US dollar. The machinery sector gained 1.4 percent as a whole, with Komatsu ending 3.4 percent higher to ¥2,560.

The steel sector gained on the news that JFE is in talks with South Korea’s Hyundai Steel. Nippon Steel added 1 percent to ¥711, while JFE was 1.6 percent higher to ¥6,800.

Word of a bird flu outbreak in Japan translated to gains for Chugai Pharmaceutical, the manufacturer of Tamiflu, which is believed to be effective against the disease in humans. Chugai added 1.8 percent to ¥2,780 on the session.

Internet and telecommunications company Softbank added 5.6 percent to ¥2,735 on an upgrade from Credit Suisse. The broker upped its recommendation from “under perform” to “outperform” and raised its target share price from ¥1,340 to ¥3,110.

In the retail sector, news that Wal-Mart could be looking for acquisitions in Japan sent its Japanese division, Seiyu, 13.1 percent higher to ¥190 on merger hopes.

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News posted: January 29, 2007

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