Nikkei rises as risk appetite recovers on U.S. data; convenience stores shine
* Convenience stores outperform on strong earnings * Nintendo jumps on China easing ban * Mitsubishi Motors sag to 2-week low on dilution fears By Ayai Tomisawa TOKYO, Jan 8 (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei share average rose on Wednesday morning to recoup some of the losses posted earlier in the week after strong trade data in the U.S. boosted risk appetite, and convenience store operators soared on strong earnings. The Nikkei rose 0.8 percent to 15,945.36 in mid-morning trade after dropping 0.6 percent on the previous day. On Monday, the index shed 2.4 percent. The U.S. trade deficit shrank to its lowest in four years, thanks mainly to a renaissance in energy production, prompting analysts to revise up forecasts for economic growth. "Investors were relieved to confirm that the U.S. economic recovery is intact," said Nobuhiko Kuramochi, a strategist at Mizuho Securities, adding that eyes are on Friday's jobs data, which will give clues on how soon the Federal Reserve will unwind its stimulus program. Also underlining the bright mood was an unexpected drop in unemployment in Germany. The Topix added 0.6 percent to 1,291.13. The JPX-Nikkei Index 400, which started trading on Monday, gained 0.6 percent to 11,663.39. Convenience store operators outperformed after their strong earnings for the nine months through November boosted a view that their full-year earnings may top their forecasts. FamilyMart Co rose 5.2 percent to 5,070 yen, a level not seen since April 2000 after posting an operating profit of 36.2 billion yen for the March-November period. It was merely up 0.4 percent from a year earlier, but its nine-month result has already accounted for 80.4 percent of its full-year operating profit forecast of 45.1 billion yen. Seven & i Holdings Co jumped 5.1 percent to 4,440 yen, the highest since May 2006 after posting a record operating profit of 249.1 billion yen, up 15.1 percent on year. Other notable gainers included Nintendo Co, which jumped as much as 6 percent to a 2-1/2 year high on after China temporarily lifted a 14-year-old ban on selling video game consoles. ]ID:nL3N0KI0MI] On the other hand, Mitsubishi Motors Corp dropped as much as 4.0 percent to a 2-week low after saying that it would raise up to 241.63 billion yen ($2.31 billion) in a public share offering, slightly more than a plan announced in November.
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