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Nikkei battles back early losses to edge higher

JIJI

Stocks recouped early losses to close moderately higher Thursday.

The Nikkei 225 average finished up 60.36 points at 14,486.41 after losing 287.20 points Wednesday. The Topix gained 7.37 points to close at 1,203.35 a day after it shed 18.46 points.

The market opened lower after New York stocks fell overnight on disappointing earnings reports.

Stocks were under selling pressure through most of the session as the yen stayed firm against the dollar, brokers said. Amid a lack of fresh market-moving incentives, investors moved to cash in gains after a recent rally, they added.

The Nikkei, however, gained momentum toward the close thanks to buybacks.

“Better than expected Chinese manufacturing data published Thursday likely provided some relief to market players, prompting buybacks,” said Yoshihiko Tabei, chief analyst at Kazaka Securities Co.

HSBC’s China Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index for October came to 50.9 against the market’s median forecast of 50.4.

The TSE is still underpinned by various positive factors, including high hopes for good half-year corporate earnings results and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s growth measures, brokers said.

Rising issues outnumbered falling ones 1,321 to 309 in the first section, while 124 issues were unchanged.

Volume fell to 2.311 billion shares from 2.727 billion Wednesday.

Hitachi shot up 8.39 percent after the electronics maker revised up its half-year earnings estimates Wednesday.

Automakers Toyota and Mazda gained ground, while mobile network carrier Softbank rebounded along with rival KDDI.

Paper producer Daio was upbeat, along with peers Nippon Paper and Oji.

By contrast, electronics firm Sony extended losses, as did Fast Retailing, the operator of the Uniqlo clothing chain.

Yield dips below 0.6%

The benchmark 10-year Japanese government bond yield briefly fell below 0.6 percent Thursday for the first time in five months before rising back moderately.

The yield on the latest 330th 10-year JGB issue with a 0.8 percent coupon fell to 0.595 percent briefly in morning interdealer trading, its lowest level since May 9.