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Automation stocks get closer look for lasting winners

Investors seek out companies riding China's structural changes

TOKYO -- Not all Japanese automation stocks have benefited from rising Chinese demand as long-term investors assess whether companies are profiting from structural change or a temporary boost.

Machine maker Daifuku's share price has soared 23% since the end of July, achieving consecutive all-time highs on the Tokyo Stock Exchange Thursday. The company holds the world's top share for automated conveyor systems, and is considered a central stock in the industry. Sensor maker Keyence and pneumatic component maker SMC also climbed into record territory, advancing 11% and 7%, respectively, since July's end.  

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