The Nikkei stock index rose more than 2 percent Wednesday, snapping a six-day losing streak, buoyed by rallying
equities overnight and easing concerns toward
The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average ended up 496.67 points, or 2.88 percent, from Tuesday at 17,715.63. The broader Topix index of all First Section issues on the Tokyo Stock Exchange finished 40.14 points, or 2.86 percent, higher at 1,442.09.
Every industry category on the main section gained ground, led by rubber products, air transport and securities.
The Nikkei rallied from the outset after falling for six straight trading days through Tuesday in its worst ever start to a year.
Calmer Chinese stock and currency markets helped improve investor sentiment, brokers said.
stocks opened higher after fluctuating wildly the previous day, while the Chinese central bank kept on hold the daily guidance rate for the yuan against the dollar.
Better-than-expected Chinese import and export data for December also gave a boost to investor sentiment, Chihiro Ota, general manager of investment research at SMBC Nikko Securities Inc. said.
"There is a lot of positive news in the market today," Ota said. "While the Chinese market is still not delivering the level of transparency expected by investors, jitters towards the world's second largest economy are clearly calming."
Akira Tanoue of Nomura Securities Co.'s investment research and investor services department said that solid
stocks and the stronger-than-expected trade data in
helped offset concerns over weak oil prices.
crude oil futures hit another milestone Tuesday in
, briefly falling below $30
a barrel for the first time since 2003.
It remains unclear whether the
stock market can continue its rally as investors are awaiting a series of economic data later this week such as
machinery orders data for November, the Federal Reserve's
Beige Book report on
business conditions and
earnings reports, analysts said.
On the first Section, advancing issues trounced declining issues 1,833 to 77, while 25 ended the day unchanged.
Sakata Seed rose 154 yen, or 5.9 percent, to 2,743 yen after reporting Tuesday a 55 percent year-on-year increase in operating profit in the June-November period of last year, citing upbeat vegetable and flower seed sales in emerging economies.
Kohnan Shoji climbed 138 yen, or 8.7 percent, to 1,722 yen after the
-based home center chain operator raised Tuesday its operating profit forecast for the business year ending February.
Panasonic rose 23 yen, or 2.1 percent, to 1,140 yen after the Nikkei business daily reported that the leading consumer electronics manufacturer is planning to launch a satellite service for cruise ships and trains by 2017.
Airlines gained ground on falling oil prices with Japan Airlines rising 200 yen, or 5.0 percent, to 4.240 yen and ANA Holdings rising 12.70 yen, or 4.0 percent, to 333.20 yen.
Bucking the trend, Aeon slid to the foot of the Nikkei index falling 9.50 yen, or 0.6 percent, to 1,592.50 yen as investors continued to sell the retail giant after it reported a net loss Friday for the nine months through November.
Trading volume on the main section fell to 2,139.09 million shares from Tuesday's 2,635.16 million shares.
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