Japanese stocks rose for the first time in five days, tracking a rally in global equities amid optimism Greece will reach a deal with creditors and as the yen weakened.
Don Quijote Holdings Co. jumped 7 percent, the most in two years, after the discount-store operator increased its dividend forecast. Kobe Bussan Co. surged 7.1 percent after projecting higher profit. Tokio Marine Holdings Inc. slipped 0.5 percent after agreeing to buy HCC Insurance Holdings Inc. for about $7.5 billion in the biggest acquisition by a Japanese insurer.
The Topix index added 1.3 percent to 1,648.88 at the close in Tokyo, with all but three of its 33 industry groups rising. The Nikkei 225 Stock Average advanced 1.7 percent to 20,382.97. The yen fell 0.5 percent to 123.28 per dollar after jumping 1.4 percent Wednesday as Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda said it was hard to see further losses in the currency.
“The situation in Greece has been pointed out as a positive factor, but in principle today we’ll see a rebound from the falls,” Mitsushige Akino, executive officer at Ichiyoshi Asset Management Co. in Tokyo, said by phone. “Kuroda probably restrained the yen as a too-sudden weakening doesn’t help either the U.S. or Japan. That said, the overall direction is toward a weaker yen, so we shouldn’t expect any further major strengthening in the Japanese currency.”
E-mini futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index lost 0.1 percent. The underlying gauge of U.S. shares on Wednesday rose 1.2 percent, the most in a month. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index climbed 1.8 percent, the first increase in seven days.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Wednesday her goal is “to keep Greece in the euro area,” with less than three weeks to go before the indebted nation’s aid program expires.
Optimism the months-long standoff will reach a favorable resolution was boosted as the European Central Bank increased cash available to Greece. The ECB raised the level of emergency cash available to the country’s banks by 2.3 billion euros ($2.6 billion), people familiar with the decision said.
Germany may be satisfied with Greece committing to at least one economic reform sought by creditors to open the door to bailout funds, according to two people familiar with the country’s position. A government spokesman later denied that Germany is considering such a deal.
Mizuho Financial Group Inc. climbed 1.6 percent after Bank of America Corp. advised buying the lender’s shares.
Token Corp. gained 6.8 percent after the real-estate developer raised its profit forecast by 14 percent.
Toyota Boshoku Corp. rose 5.9 percent as Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley upgraded its recommendation on the car-part maker’s shares.