Japanese stocks rose for the first time in three days as the yen weakened, boosting the earnings outlook for exporters, and as U.S. housing data increased investor confidence that the world’s biggest economy can handle an imminent increase in borrowing costs.
The Topix index jumped 1.5 percent to 1,346.07 at the trading break in Tokyo as more than four shares advanced for each that fell. The Nikkei 225 Stock Average climbed 1.8 percent to 16,795.67. The yen traded at 110.15 per dollar, weakening for a second day. Purchases of new homes in the U.S. surged in April to the highest level since the start of 2008. Trading volume on the Topix was 22 percent below the 30-day intraday average, after hitting the lowest level this year on Tuesday.
Electric-appliance makers and car builders were among the biggest boosts to the Topix. Sony Corp. led gains on the Nikkei 225, rising 6.4 percent after announcing its annual profit forecast on Tuesday. The forecast missed analyst estimates on effects from the earthquake, but investors looked instead to the company’s long-term prospects.