Japanese Stocks Gain on Light Volume as Defensive Shares Rise

Japanese shares rose, extending a rally to a second day, as agricultural stocks and drugmakers led the advance on light volume.

The Topix index climbed 0.9 percent to 1,543.39 at the close of trading in Tokyo, bringing its two-day increase to 1.8 percent. More than five shares rose for each that fell, with volume about 23 percent below the 30-day average. The measure posted its biggest gain since Dec. 17 on Monday on the lowest turnover in a year. The Nikkei 225 Stock Average added 0.6 percent to 18,982.23. The yen traded little changed at 120.34 per dollar after falling for the first time in five days yesterday.

Fishing and agricultural stocks advanced with drugmakers. Seafood producer Nippon Suisan Kaisha Ltd. rose 6.1 percent. Ono Pharmaceutical Co. added 1.6 percent. Alpine Electronics Inc. jumped 8.1 percent after Nomura Holdings Co. raised its rating on the car audio maker. Iron and steel companies made up the only sector to drop in the Topix.

Toshiba Corp. jumped 2.7 percent after reports the company is seeking its second credit line from banks in three months, aiming to gain access to an additional 300 billion yen ($ 2.5 billion) as it faces mounting costs from an accounting scandal that has led to layoffs and asset sales. The stock surged 4.3 percent on Monday after a 23 percent plunge last week.

Source : Bloomberg