Nikkei gains as strong U.S., Japan data bolster risk appetite

Wed Jan 15, 2014 8:47pm EST

* S&P rise, U.S. data bolster risk appetite
    * Japanese machinery orders also help mood
    * Tepco gains after government approves revival plan

    By Ayai Tomisawa
    TOKYO, Jan 16 (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei average rose on
Thursday morning, adding to a sharp rise in the previous
session, after strong U.S. data and corporate earnings drove
Wall Street stocks higher while a weaker yen bolstered market
sentiment.
    Also helping the mood was Japanese data showing that core
machinery orders jumped in November for the second straight
month of gains. 
    The Nikkei was up 0.7 percent at 15,917.06 in
midmorning trade after climbing 2.5 percent on Wednesday, its
biggest one-day gain in four months. The index was trading
comfortably above its 25-day moving average of 15,723.06.
    "We are getting a boost from both overseas and domestic
cues. The market has started to take risks again, and as for
sentiment towards the U.S. economy, a lot of people are thinking
that the weak U.S. jobs data was a one-time incident," said Isao
Kubo, equity strategist at Nissay Asset Management. "Investors
are relieved that U.S. growth is intact."
    On Wednesday the S&P 500 climbed to an all-time closing high
after Bank of America reported strong earnings, while producer
price data and a manufacturing survey signalled the economy was
improving.  
    The broader Topix gained 1 percent to 1,306.85, with
30 of its 33 subsectors in positive territory.
    Tokyo Electric Power Co soared 3.8 percent to a
one-week high after the government approved a revival plan for
the utility responsible for the Fukushima nuclear disaster.
 
    Index-heavyweight SoftBank Corp rose 1.4 percent
and was the most traded stock by turnover.
    Toyota Motor Corp added 1.2 percent and Panasonic
Corp gained 1.4 percent after the dollar bounced to
104.56 yen, moving within striking distance of a
five-year peak. A weaker yen inflates Japanese exporters'
overseas profits when repatriated.
    The JPX-Nikkei Index 400, a recently introduced
gauge comprised of firms with high return on equity and strong
corporate governance, gained 0.8 percent to 11,779.51.
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