Japan’s Nikkei 225 Stock Average rose 89.10, or 1 percent, to 8,639.68 at the close in Tokyo. The following were among the most active shares in the Japanese market today. Stock symbols are in parentheses after company names.
Chip-related companies: ASML Holding NV (ASML NA), Europe’s biggest semiconductor-equipment maker, said orders in the first quarter will improve from the last three months of last year as manufacturers expand capacity of more advanced machines.
Elpida Memory Inc. (6665 JT), a chip supplier to Apple Inc. (AAPL US), gained 5.3 percent to 341 yen. Advantest Corp. (6857 JT), a maker of memory-chip testers, increased 7 percent to 753 yen. Sumco Corp. (3436 JT), a manufacturer of silicon wafers, surged 9.4 percent to 607 yen.
Carmakers: The Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association expects domestic car demand to climb 19 percent to 5 million units this year, according to a statement on the industry group’s website.
Toyota Motor Corp. (7203 JT), Asia’s biggest carmaker by market value, gained 1.4 percent to 2,621 yen. Mazda Motor Corp. (7261 JT) rose 5.8 percent to 128 yen. The company’s distribution unit in Thailand plans to boost sales in the nation by 45 percent this year, according to Choichi Yuki, managing director of Mazda Sales.
Chiyoda Corp. (6366 JT), a builder of oil refinery and petrochemical plants, gained 3.2 percent to 863 yen. JPMorgan Chase & Co. analyst Masashi Hayami rated the stock “neutral” in new coverage. The company may benefit from global demand for liquefied natural gas, the analyst wrote in a report dated yesterday.
Fanuc Corp. (6954 JT), a maker of factory automation systems, advanced 3.1 percent to 12,860 yen. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. analyst Junji Sakurada reiterated his “buy” rating on the stock, citing the company’s ability to outperform its peers in the long-term.
Gree Inc. (3632 JT), a social network operator, slid 3.8 percent to 2,080 yen. Goldman Sachs reduced its 12-month share price target to 2,600 yen from 2,800 yen.
Hitachi Chemical Co. (4217 JT) rose 4.3 percent to 1,383 yen. The company expects double digit growth in operating profit next fiscal year, the Nikkei newspaper reported, citing an interview with President Kazuyuki Tanaka.