Nikkei rises as risk appetite recovers on U.S. data; convenience stores shine

Tue Jan 7, 2014 9:01pm EST

* 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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