* Nikkei up 1.52%, Topix gains 1.36%
* Battered value shares bought back, Topix value up 2%
* CyberAgent, Zozo up after earnings
* Eisai drops after Alzheimer’s drug delay
TOKYO, April 23 (Reuters) - Japanese stocks rose on Thursday, as sellers covered their positions after Wall Street rebounded overnight on the promise of more U.S. government aid to ease the economic damage inflicted by the coronavirus health crisis.
The Nikkei share average rose 1.52% to 19,429.44 after three straight sessions of losses. The broader Topix gained 1.36% to 1,425.98.
“We have seen a bit of short-covering after U.S. stocks rebounded and oil prices stabilised for now. For now, the Nikkei may stay range-bound between 19,000 and 19,500 ahead of Japanese earnings,” said Masahiro Ichikawa, senior strategist at Sumitomo Mitsui DS Asset Management.
Analysts are sanguine about Japanese corporate earnings this year in the expectation of swift economic recovery from the coronavirus outbreak, though some strategists and investors caution such optimism could be misplaced.
Among the top gainers were shares that have been badly hit so far this year, including advertisement firm Dentsu Group , retailer J.Front Retailing and oil development firm Inpex. They rose 6.6%, 8.3%, 6.1% respectively.
Investors scooped up value-oriented shares, those that had been idling at cheap levels. Topix value rose 2.1% compared to 0.7% gains in Topix growth.
Among value shares, shippers soared, with Kawasaki Kisen up 5.8%, Nippon Yusen rising 5.7% and Mitsui OSK Lines 5.6%.
Transport equipment companies rose 2.4%, with Honda Motor Co Ltd gaining 3.9%.
Shares of some companies related to the semi-conductor industry also jumped after their U.S. peers gained sharply, with the Philadelphia Semiconductor index surging 5.9% in its biggest one-day leap since April 6.
Shinetsu Chemical rose 2.9% while Screen Holdings gained 3.2%.
Elsewhere, CyberAgent climbed 6.8% after the company reported strong growth in quarterly profit on brisk gaming business.
Zozo rallied 6.1% after the online fashion retailer led by flamboyant entrepreneur Yusaku Maezawa published earnings estimates suggesting a pickup in revenue in the previous quarter.
The index of Mothers start-up shares rose 3.3%, erasing losses made earlier this week.
On the other hand, drugmaker Eisai lost 8.9% after Biogen Inc on Wednesday delayed the filing for marketing approval of its experimental Alzheimer’s disease drug developed jointly with Eisai.
Biogen said it needed more time to prepare the data before submission.
Trade was slow, with turnover hitting the second lowest levels in recent weeks at 1.893 trillion yen worth of shares chancing hands on the main board.
Reporting by Tokyo Markets Team; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu