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Nikkei Rises Most in Three Months on U.S. Jobs, Toyota

Japanese stocks gained, with the Nikkei 225 Stock Average rising the most in more than three months, after better-than-forecast jobs data in the U.S. eased concern growth is slowing in the world’s largest economy. Toyota Motor Corp. gained after beating profit estimates.

Canon Inc., a camera maker that gets almost 30 percent of its sales from the U.S., climbed 3.5 percent. Toyota rose 2.5 percent. Sharp Corp. extended its drop to a 37-year low on a report Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. plans to renegotiate its investment in the electronics company.

The Nikkei 225 gained 2 percent to 8,726.29 at the 3 p.m. close in Tokyo, the biggest gain since April 18. The broader Topix Index rose 1.6 percent to 735.73, with more than three shares advancing for each that declined.

The jobs data “was quite good and is fueling investor confidence,” said Yoshihisa Okamoto, a fund manager at Mizuho Asset Management Co. in Tokyo, which oversees about $34 billion. “Investors in the Japanese market care more about the U.S. economy than European issues.”

The Topix has rebounded 5.8 percent since this year’s low in June as central banks around the world eased policy to support growth. The price of shares on the gauge stood at 0.9 times book value, compared with 2.2 times for the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index and 1.5 times for the Europe Stoxx 600 Index. A number less than one means that companies can be bought for less than value of their assets.

Futures on the S&P 500 were little changed today. The gauge surged 1.9 percent on Aug. 3 after a Labor Department report showed U.S. payrolls climbed more than forecast even as the jobless rate unexpectedly rose. Shares also advanced after service industries expanded at a faster pace in July.

Canon, Honda

Canon climbed 3.5 percent to 2,788 yen. Honda Motor Co., a carmaker that gets more than 40 percent of its sales from North America, increased 2.8 percent to 2,470 yen.

Toyota rose 2.5 percent to 3,140 yen, the heaviest contributor to the Topix’s gain, after reporting its highest quarterly net income in four years. Profit climbed to 290.3 billion yen ($3.7 billion), 14 percent higher than the average of seven analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

Energy companies gained after crude oil for September delivery jumped 4.9 percent to $91.40 a barrel in New York on Aug. 3, the biggest gain since June 29.

Inpex Corp., Japan’s top oil explorer by market value, jumped 4.1 percent to 445,500 yen after boosting its earnings forecast. Japan Petroleum Exploration Co., the No. 2, rose 2.3 percent to 2,912 yen.

Asahi Glass Co. gained the most on the Nikkei 225, soaring 7.3 percent to 472 yen. Nomura Holdings Inc. raised its investment rating to buy from neutral, saying European markets for sheet and liquefied crystal display glass have bottomed.

Sharp lost 5.7 percent to 181 yen, the lowest close since November 1974. The stock fell after Hon Hai said it plans to renegotiate its 550 yen per share investment in the electronics maker. The Japanese TV maker plunged 28 percent on Aug. 3 after widening its loss forecast.

-- With assistance from Adam Haigh in Sydney. Editor: Jim Powell

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