May 1, 2014 11:56 am JST

Tokyo stocks rise in morning on Dow's advance to record high

TOKYO(Kyodo) -- Tokyo stocks rose Thursday morning as market sentiment brightened on the Dow's gain to a record high overnight.

     The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average went up 101.88 points, or 0.71 percent, from Wednesday to 14,405.99. The broader Topix index of all First Section issues on the Tokyo Stock Exchange was up 11.98 points, or 1.03 percent, at 1,174.42.

     The market got off to a solid start after the 30-issue Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 45.47 points to 16,580.84, ending at an all-time time for the first time in four months.

     Investors were encouraged by the Federal Reserve's optimism about the world's largest economy, shrugging off a smaller-than-expected 0.1 percent gain in the U.S economy for the first quarter, brokers said.

     The Fed decided Wednesday to cut its asset-buying program by $10 billion to $45 billion each month from May as widely expected, while raising its economic outlook.

     The Nikkei rose more than 140 points in early trading, but the gains were pared somewhat later. Overall, market players were reluctant to buy aggressively ahead of U.S. employment data for April due out Friday as well as Japanese holidays on Monday and Tuesday, brokers said.

     Ayako Terada at Nomura Securities Co.'s investment research department said that the weak U.S. gross domestic product figure was tied to severe winter weather that hampered exports. "Consumption, which accounts for about 70 percent of GDP, was improving so we think the data can be taken positively."

     "But it is hard to take fresh positions actively before the holidays and the jobs data," she added, predicting the Nikkei will consolidate around 14,300 to 14,400 later in the day.

     On the First Section, advancing issues led declining ones 1,209 to 457, while 142 finished the morning unchanged.

     Brokerage, shipping and utility shares attracted buying particularly while airline and food issues lost ground.

     Fujitsu shot up 36 yen, or 6.0 percent, to 636 yen as it returned to the black in fiscal 2013 that ended in March and projected a 10 percent rise in group net profit for the current business year.

     Musical instruments maker Yamaha jumped 149 yen, or 10.9 percent, to 1,517 yen as its group net profit increased by more than fivefold thanks to firm piano sales in North America and Japan and a weaker yen.

     Sanitary earthenware and housing equipment maker TOTO tumbled 90 yen, or 6.2 percent, to 1,355 yen after saying its net profit for this fiscal year will likely be halved from a year earlier partly in reaction to a surge in demand before Japan's consumption tax hike in April.