May 1, 2014 3:25 pm JST

Tokyo stocks rise on Dow's advance to record high, solid earnings

TOKYO(Kyodo) -- Tokyo stocks rose Thursday, supported by the U.S. Dow index's advance to a record high overnight and a string of solid earnings reports, such as those by brokerage houses.

     The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average ended up 181.02 points, or 1.27 percent, from Wednesday at 14,485.13. The broader Topix index of all First Section issues on the Tokyo Stock Exchange finished 19.76 points, or 1.7 percent, higher at 1,182.20.

     Market sentiment brightened as the 30-issue Dow Jones Industrial Average hit an all-time high for the first time in four months after the U.S. Federal Reserve raised its economic view. The Fed also decided to keep scaling back its asset-buying stimulus as widely expected.

     Investors were encouraged by the Fed's optimism about the world's largest economy, shrugging off a disappointing report that showed the U.S. economy grew a mere annualized real 0.1 percent in the first quarter, brokers said.

     Tokyo shares gained further ground in the afternoon as a halt in the yen's appreciation prompted buying of export-oriented shares, 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."

     Trading activity was light as some market players adopted a wait-and-see stance ahead of U.S. employment data for April due out Friday as well as Japanese holidays on Monday and Tuesday, brokers said.

     "The market hailed the Fed's upbeat view on the economy," Yutaka Miura, a senior technical analyst at Mizuho Securities Co., said, adding that even if the upcoming jobs report turns out to be strong, investors' reaction may be limited, as the market has largely factored in positive aspects of the U.S. economy.

     Advancing issues led declining ones 1,506 to 225 on the First Section, while 77 closed unchanged.

     Brokerage firms enjoyed the largest gains by sector as companies in the industry reported upbeat earnings results for fiscal 2013 that ended in March on the back of a robust stock market.

     Nomura Holdings, Japan's largest brokerage house which also announced a share buyback plan, shot up 37 yen, or 6.3 percent, to 625 yen while its rival Daiwa Securities Group gained 24 yen, or 3.1 percent, to 789 yen.

     Fujitsu climbed 38 yen, or 6.3 percent, to 638 yen as it returned to the black in fiscal 2013 and projected a 10 percent rise in group net profit for the current business year.

     Musical instruments maker Yamaha jumped 152 yen, or 11.1 percent, to 1,520 yen after reporting its group net profit increased by more than fivefold thanks to firm piano sales in North America and Japan as well as a weaker yen.

     In contrast, bathroom fixture 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 the previous year partly in reaction to a surge in demand before Japan's consumption tax hike in April.

     Trading volume on the main section came to 1,955.52 million shares, down from Wednesday's 2,019.62 million shares.