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March 27, 2006    

Tokyo markets higher on real estate

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by Elaine Frei

The Tokyo equities markets saw gains on Monday, with the Nikkei 225 up 0.5 percent to 16,650.10 and the Topix index 0.3 percent higher at the close to 1,693.84.

The real estate sector gained 1.1 percent as a whole, building on Friday’s gains after the release of a new survey on land prices in Japan. Mitsui Fudosan added 1 percent to ¥2,605, Sumitomo Realty & Development was up 1.7 percent to ¥3,040, and Mitsubishi Estate advanced by 1.9 percent to ¥2,615.

Even though the land price survey showed that property price deflation in Japan is coming to an end, some analysts pointed out that the price hikes are coming primarily in large urban centers while prices elsewhere are still falling. Despite this, the advances in the sector are not as large as some analysts expected they would be.

The securities sector was down by 1.9 percent on the day as investors continue to take profits there. Nomura was down by 1.4 percent to ¥2,535 and Daiwa lost 3 percent to ¥1,509.

The more export-dependent chip-related sector was up after gains in the Nasdaq Composite in New York overnight. Tokyo Electron was up 0.8 percent to ¥7,550, while Advantest gained 1.4 percent to ¥13,230.

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