Japan stocks gain on signs of boost to IT sector earnings
By Stanley White
TOKYO, April 1 (Reuters) - Japanese stocks rose on Thursday, as investors snapped up shares of semiconductor-related companies on the first day of the new fiscal year on hopes for robust corporate earnings.
The Nikkei 225 Index .N225 rose 1.17% to 29,520.65 by 0214 GMT, while the broader Topix .TOPX rose 0.68% to 1,967.30.
The technology sector led the advance after U.S. chipmaker Micron Technology Inc MU.O forecast third-quarter revenue above analysts' forecasts. mood for Japanese equities also brightened after the Bank of Japan's tankan survey showed business sentiment has returned to where it was before the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. happening with Japanese tech shares is a reflection of what is happening in the United States," said Takashi Hiroki, chief strategist at Monex Securities.
"We're in a new fiscal year and a lot of institutional investor money is entering the market. Companies will start releasing earnings at the end of the month, and I expect a lot of forecast upgrades."
Tokyo Electron Ltd 8035.T rose 3.89% and at one point hit an all-time high as Micron's bullish sales forecasts and a gain in U.S. technology shares on Wall Street boosted Japanese semiconductor-related stocks.
In addition, Micron and Western Digital Corp WDC.O are individually exploring a potential deal for Kioxia Holdings Corp that could value the unlisted Japanese semiconductor firm at around $30 billion, the Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday. Holdings Co Ltd 7735.T , another prominent chip-related company, rose 5.95%.
Dai-ichi Life Holdings Inc 8750.T , surged by 9.62% after the insurer announced a share buyback.
Details of U.S. President Joe Biden's $2.3 trillion infrastructure investment plan and a weakening yen also boosted sentiment, analysts said. underperformers among the Topix 30 were Mitsui & Co Ltd 8031.T down 2.19%, followed by Toyota Motor Corp 7203.T losing 1.74%.
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