May 28, 2007 / 4:41 AM / 11 years ago

Nikkei up 0.61 pct, Japan Steel Works jumps

(Updates to late afternoon)

TOKYO, May 28 (Reuters) - The Nikkei rose 0.61 percent on Monday as higher commodity prices lifted Sumitomo Metal Mining Co. Ltd. (5713.T) while NGK Insulators Ltd. (5333.T) climbed after Credit Suisse lifted its target price.

Japan Steel Works Ltd. (5631.T) hit a lifetime high after reports that China would boost its nuclear power generation capacity.

The market showed littled reaction to reports that a member of Japan’s cabinet had killed himself. [ID:nTKV003449]

Farm Minister Toshikatsu Matsuoka had been under fire for a series of political funding scandals. His death comes less than two months before an election for parliament’s upper house, a key test for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government.

“The market dipped a bit but because Shanghai stocks are higher, investors didn’t sell. The Tokyo market is not moving on domestic factors now,” said Naoyuki Torii, general manager and strategist at Fukoku Capital Management Inc.

The Nikkei .N225 was up 105.87 points at 17,587.08 as of 0515 GMT. The TOPIX index .TOPX was up 0.47 percent at 1,723.62.

    In the metals sector, Sumitomo Metal Mining rose 3 percent to 2,755 yen as copper and other commodity prices jumped. Mitsubishi Materials Corp. (5711.T) added 1.7 percent to 615 yen.

    Japan Steel Works surged 7 percent to 1,681 yen after earlier hitting its all-time high of 1,709 yen. The Yomiuri newspaper reported that China plans to boost its nuclear power generation capacity to between 15 and 20 times its current level by the end of 2030. The company, a small Japanese steel maker, has an 80 percent global market share in steam generators for nuclear power plants.

    NGK Insulators, a maker of insulators for power utilities, jumped 5 percent to 2,735 yen after Credit Suisse raised the target price for the stock to 3,450 yen from 2,710 yen.

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