Friday, August 14, 2009

Japan Stocks Hit New 10-Month High

. Friday, August 14, 2009

By stockOzone team

Japanese shares rose to a fresh 10-month high Friday as more signs emerged that the global economic downturn may have hit bottom.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 stock average gained 0.8 percent, or 80.14 points, to 10,597.33, its second straight daily gain. The broader Topix index closed up 0.53 percent, or 5.16 points, at 973.57.

Shares climbed on news that Germany and France, Europe's two biggest economies, both saw growth of 0.3 percent in the second quarter, ending their worst recession in decades and surprising analysts. The news came a day after the U.S. Federal Reserve said the world's biggest economy appeared to be "leveling out."

Positive sentiment spurred buying that pushed the Nikkei to its highest level since Oct. 3 of last year, when markets were in freefall as the financial crisis exploded. Trading in Japan has been thinner than normal, however, as many investors are away on a Buddhist summer holiday this week.

Automakers, electronics and construction companies were among gainers Friday.

Mazda Motor Corp. rose 3.8 percent to 274 yen, and Toyota Motor Corp. rose 0.7 percent to 4,120 yen. TDK was up 3 percent to 5,430 yen and Casio Computer Co. gained 2.9 percent to 756 yen, while Pioneer rose 2.5 percent to 285 yen.

Komatsu Ltd. advanced 5.3 percent to 1,716 yen and Hitachi Construction Machinery Co. was up 8.4 percent to 1,930 yen.

In currencies, the dollar was trading at 95.17 yen in Tokyo late Friday from 95.13 yen late Thursday in New York. The euro stood at $1.4261 from $1.4265.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Disclosure: Author does not own any of the stocks discussed here.

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