Japanese Stocks Rise for Fourth Day on U.S. Employment Data; Elpida Gains

Japanese stocks rose for a fourth day as better-than-expected jobs data in the U.S. eased concern recovery in the global economy is faltering and as the yen fell.

Fanuc Ltd., an industrial robot maker that gets about 80 percent of its revenue abroad, jumped 3 percent. Mitsubishi Corp., Japan’s largest commodities trader, gained 3.7 percent after oil and copper prices increased on Sept. 3. Elpida Memory Inc. surged 9.5 percent as Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities Co. recommended Japan’s sole maker of computer-memory chips. Mitsui O.S.K. Lines Ltd. rose 3.5 percent after cargo rates increased. T&D Holdings Inc. led insurers higher.

“Some people had expected employment would worsen significantly, so there is a temporary sense of security after the better-than-expected jobs data,” said Kiyoshi Ishigane, a strategist in Tokyo at Mitsubishi UFJ Asset Management Co., which oversees about $65 billion. “The market had been too pessimistic about the U.S. economy.”

The Nikkei 225 Stock Average rose 2.1 percent to 9,301.32 at the 3 p.m. close in Tokyo. The broader Topix index gained 1.8 percent to 838.71. More than 12 times as many stocks climbed as fell, and all the 33 industry groups in the index advanced. Both gauges rose for four consecutive days and were the highest since Aug. 19.

The Topix has declined 7.6 percent in 2010, compared with a drop of 1 percent by the S&P 500 and a gain of 2.6 percent by the Stoxx Europe 600 Index. Stocks in the Japanese benchmark are valued at 15 times estimated earnings, compared with 13.3 times for the S&P and 11.8 times for the Stoxx.

U.S. Jobs

Futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index rose 0.2 percent today. In New York, the index climbed 1.3 percent on Sept. 3 as a report showed companies in the U.S. added more jobs than forecast in August.

Private payrolls climbed 67,000 after a revised 107,000 increase in July that was more than initially estimated, Labor Department figures in Washington showed on Sept. 3. The unemployment rate rose to 9.6 percent as more people looked for work.

“I see risk-taking movements. Money is flowing into stocks and commodities from bonds,” said Norihiro Fujito, senior investment strategist at Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities Co. in Tokyo.

Fanuc advanced 3 percent to 9,630 yen and was the second- biggest contributor to the Nikkei’s gain. Citizen Holdings Co., a watchmaker that gets 60 percent of its revenue abroad, leapt 6.3 percent to 474 yen, the third-sharpest increase in the Nikkei. Canon Inc., the world’s No. 1 maker of cameras, increased 1.6 percent to 3,605 yen.

Yen Weakens

The yen depreciated to 84.50 against the dollar, compared with 84.25 at the close of stock trading in Tokyo on Sept. 3. Against the euro, Japan’s currency weakened to 108.90 from 108.09. The weaker yen boosts the value of sales generated overseas in local terms for Japanese companies.

Commodity traders had the fourth-largest gain among the Topix’s 33 industry groups. Mitsubishi jumped 3.7 percent to 1,915 yen. Mitsui & Co., Japan’s second-biggest trading house by market value, climbed 3.8 percent to 1,142 yen. Sumitomo Corp., the No. 3, advanced 3.1 percent to 1,019 yen.

Copper futures for December delivery climbed 0.4 percent to $3.508 a pound in New York on Sept. 3. The October contract for crude oil on the New York Mercantile Exchange jumped as much as 0.6 percent to $75.44 a barrel.

Cargo Rates Rise

Shipping lines advanced after The Baltic Dry Index, a measure of shipping costs for commodities, gained for a fifth day on Sept. 3. Mitsui O.S.K. rose 3.5 percent to 568 yen. Nippon Yusen K.K., the country’s biggest shipping line by sales, increased 2.7 percent to 341 yen. Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha Ltd., the No. 3, climbed 3.4 percent to 332 yen.

Insurance companies had the biggest gain in the Topix. T&D soared 7.4 percent to 1,792 yen, the most in the Nikkei. Dai- ichi Life Insurance Co. surged 6.9 percent to 108,200 yen. Tokio Marine Holdings Inc. climbed 2.9 percent to 2,395 yen.

Insurers slumped 31 percent from this year’s high on April 15 to the low on Aug. 31, the third largest decline after mining companies and securities firms. Stocks in the gauge sold for an average 18.93 times earnings on Aug. 31, the lowest level since Nov. 18.

Elpida, Suzuki Advance

“Insurers are better investments than other financial sectors such as banks and brokerages as their effort in overseas development is contributing to their earnings,” said Hideyuki Ookoshi, general manager in Tokyo at Chuo Securities Co.

Elpida Memory surged 9.5 percent to 1,039 yen, rising the most since August 2009. The chipmaker was rated “strong outperform” in new coverage at Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities Co., which estimated the 12-month share price at 1,500 yen.

The company will benefit from increasing demand for mobile dynamic random-access memory for smart phones and tablet computers from next year as the number of suppliers are limited, Masahiko Ishino, Mitsubishi UFJ analyst, wrote in a Japanese- language report dated Sept. 3.

Suzuki Motor Corp. advanced 1.5 percent to 1,779 yen. The company will build a factory in India that will have the capacity to produce 250,000 cars annually, company spokesman Hideki Taguchi said by phone from Tokyo today. The plant will begin production by mid-2013, according to Taguchi.

To contact the reporters for this story: Akiko Ikeda in Tokyo at iakiko@bloomberg.net.

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