Japan stocks extend gains on boost from Buffett's comments
Yahoo Finance · 12 Apr 345 Views

TOKYO, April 12 (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei share average rallied for a fourth straight session on Wednesday, helped by signs of consumer spending in department stores and spillover from optimism over billionaire Warren Buffett eyeing increasing investments in the country.

The Nikkei hit a one-week high in the morning and closed 0.6% higher at 28,082. The broader Topix rose 0.8%.

Department-store operator J.Front Retailing Co Ltd rose 1.3% after reporting a tripling in net profit for the year ended February after market close on Tuesday and forecast further growth. Mall owner Aeon Co Ltd rose 1%.

Buffett, 92, told Nikkei in an interview on Tuesday that he was proud of his investments in Japan's top trading houses. The renowned investor added that "there are always a few" other Japanese investments he is considering.

His Berkshire Hathaway has 7.4% stakes in trading houses Itochu Corp, Marubeni Corp, Mitsubishi Corp, Mitsui & Co and Sumitomo Corp, all of which rose about 2% or more on Wednesday.

"The market was lifted by Buffett's strong message," said Shigetoshi Kamada, general manager at the research department of Tachibana Securities.

"The five trading firms were strong, but investors also looked for shares that would become his new targets."

There were 180 advancers on the Nikkei index against 39 decliners. The upbeat sentiment seemed to help the debut of lunar transport start-up ispace Inc, shares of which were untraded as a glut of buy orders overwhelmed offers.

Other top gainers included Komatsu, climbing 3.9%, after the construction machinery maker posted a 4% rise in the use of its equipment in China through March.

Lens-maker Hoya Corp, which concluded a share buyback on Tuesday, was the top loser on the Nikkei with the stock price down 1.4%.

The volume of shares traded on the Tokyo Stock Exchange's main board was 1.04 billion, compared with the average of 1.27 billion in the past 30 days.

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