Tokyo stocks up at break, N. Korea fears ease

 10 Oct 2017 - 8:50

Tokyo stocks up at break, N. Korea fears ease

AFP

Tokyo: Tokyo stocks rose Tuesday morning, bolstered by relief that North Korea had not yet taken any provocative action to mark an anniversary, but Kobe Steel was set to dive after it admitted fabricating inspection data for certain products.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index gained 0.38 percent, or 79.06 points, to 20,769.77 at the break, while the broader Topix index was up 0.19 percent, or 3.25 points, at 1,690.41.

There were fears that Pyongyang might launch another early morning missile on the anniversary of its Workers' Party foundation, after firing two projectiles and testing a nuclear bomb several weeks ago.

But the Nikkei cast off early losses as investor spirits picked up with an upbeat view on the US and Japanese economies supporting sentiment.

Analysts were also looking past a surprise drop in US jobs, pointing to improving wage growth and a further dip in the overall unemployment rate.

Investors are "testing higher prices on the back of good investment environment at home and abroad", Yoshihiro Ito, chief strategist at Okasan Online Securities, said in a commentary.

Kobe Steel was expected to fall dramatically following its weekend announcement it had systematically fabricated inspection data for aluminium and copper products.

A price for the stock was not available as sell orders overwhelmed buy orders but its bigger rival Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal fell 0.64 percent to 2,637.5 yen.

Japan's major automakers -- some of Kobe Steel's key clients -- could be hit by the brewing scandal. Toyota still rose 1.49 percent to 6,992 yen though Nissan fell 0.41 percent to 1,087 yen.

Some financial shares were hit by profit-taking, with banking giant Mitsubishi UFJ falling 1.63 percent to 722.8 yen.

The dollar fetched 112.68 yen against 112.65 yen in New York and 113.04 yen in Tokyo on Friday.