Tokyo shares end higher on earnings

TOKYO (AFP): Tokyo stocks rebounded Thursday as investors cheered strong corporate earnings and the green light for Chinese tour groups to return to Japan and elsewhere.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index rose 0.84 percent, or 269.32 points, to 32,473.65, while the broader Topix index added 0.92 percent, or 20.94 points, to 2,303.51.
The market started underwater after New York’s three main indexes sagged, but continued hopes for strong earnings in Japan lifted the mood, analysts said.
“In a word, Tokyo shares are going through a corporate earnings festival,” said Chihiro Ota of SMBC Nikko Securities.

It was particularly true for automaker Honda, which roared 5.87 percent to 4,670 yen. The company on Wednesday announced a strong quarterly net profit.
However, Sony sank 3.23 percent to 12,565 yen a day after announcing a drop in quarterly profit.

Investors were also encouraged by China’s announcement that it will resume group international tours, including those for Japan. Tokyo shares related to inbound tourism jumped on hopes for the return of big-spending Chinese tourists.

Retailers sharply rose, with leading department store chain Isetan Mitsukoshi Holdings jumping 4.65 percent to 1,779 yen and rival Takashimaya up 3.71 percent at 2,223.5 yen.

Bullet train operator Central Japan Railway added 2.10 percent to 18,245 yen.
The dollar’s rise continued to provide support for the market, particularly exporters. The greenback bought 143.97 yen, up from 143.69 yen in New York on Wednesday.
Toyota added 1.40 percent to 2,429 yen and construction equipment maker Komatsu rose 2.09 percent to 4,101 yen, while Uniqlo-operator Fast Retailing rose 1.83 percent to 34,500 yen.

SoftBank Group added 0.37 percent to 6,827 yen. The company declined to comment on a Financial Times report that it was in talks to bring in Amazon as an anchor investor for the initial public offering of chip designer Arm.