* Benchmark solidly above 25-day moving average
* Exporters gain, also helped as yen falls to 1-mth low
* ASML sales lift chip-related shares
By Lisa Twaronite
TOKYO, Oct 13 Japan's Nikkei stock average rose
to a 1-month high on Thursday on expectations that Europe will
come up with measures to shore up its banks, with chip-related
stocks climbing on a boost in sales for ASML Holding NV.
Shares of major exporters such as Sony Corp and
Komatsu , which were sold off as fears about the
European debt crisis intensified, continued to extend this
week's sharp gains on tentative signs of progress by the
"It appears that Europe will be able to prevent its debt
crisis from spreading, and investors who had been bracing for
another 'Lehman shock' are now buying back some of the assets
that they sold off in recent weeks," said Takashi Ushio, head of
the investment strategy division at Marusan Securities Co.
Slovakian lawmakers reached a deal to ratify a plan to
bolster the European Financial Stability Facility by Friday and
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she was certain of full
ratification of the fund's expansion by the Oct. 23 European
The Nikkei benchmark climbed 1 percent to 8,823.25,
while the broader Topix index advanced 0.7 percent to
Resistance lies at 8,870, a high hit in mid-September, but
market participants said it was hard to tell whether it will
hold or not.
"Resistance points don't tell the complete story, because so
much of the market's direction depends on the progress of the
European debt plan and U.S. earnings," said Hiroaki Osakabe, a
fund manager at Chibagin Asset Management Co.
The benchmark remained solidly above its
25-day moving average at 8,638, which is considered a bullish
sign and it also broke above its 50-day moving average of 8,829
for the first time since Aug. 4.
Analysts say gains could be limited ahead of more U.S.
earnings, particularly since guidance so far from companies such
as Alcoa and PepsiCo has not been strong.
JPMorgan Chase & Co announces later on Thursday.
Among exporters, TDK rose 4.3 percent to
2,800 yen, while Panasonic climbed 2 percent to 756
yen. Sony added 3 percent to 1,562 yen and Komatsu was up 4.4
percent at 1,770 yen.
The yen's slide to a one-month low against the dollar also
Shares of camera and endoscope maker Olympus gained
4.6 percent to 2,482 yen after Goldman Sachs analyst Toshiya
Hari upgraded the stock from "neutral" to "buy" and set a
24-month target price at 3,800 yen, compared with a previous
12-month target of 2,400 yen.
Chip-tester maker Advantest Corp jumped 5.6 percent
to 889 yen after ASML, the world's largest producer of
semiconductor lithography machines, said it expects this year's
fourth-quarter bookings to beat its third-quarter bookings.
Tokyo Electron Ltd climbed 1.4 percent to 4,020 yen
and Dainippon Screen Manufacturing Co Ltd advanced 2.5
percent to 577 yen.
Marubeni Corp added 2.6 percent to 430 yen after
Barclays Capital Japan upgraded its rating on the trading
company to 'overweight' from 'equal weight.' The issue has
rebounded about 15 percent since hitting a year-low of 373 yen
on Oct. 5.
Volume was relatively thin, with 1.58 billion shares
changing hands on the Tokyo Stock Exchange's main board, below
last week's daily average of 1.86 billion shares. Advancers led
decliners 855 to 667.