TOKYO, April 27 (Reuters) – Most Japanese stocks rose on Thursday, led by manufacturers on earnings optimism while banking contagion concerns weighed down financials.
The Nikkei share index rose 0.15% to close at 28,457.68, recovering from an early 0.6% drop. The broader Topix added 0.43% to 2,032.51.
Heavy equipment maker Hitachi Construction Machinery Co 6505.T jumped 3.67% after saying full-year operating profit surged 45%. That contrasted with brokerage Nomura Holdings Inc, which sank 7.24% after posting a plunge in quarterly profit.
Chip-testing equipment maker Advantest Corp. sank more than 9.21%, its steepest drop in almost three years, after its earnings forecast missed market expectations.
“Hitachi Construction had punchy guidance,” said Mio Kato, founder of LightStream Research, who publishes on the Smartkarma platform. “I still think the theme for the year is a very weak tech space and an increasingly strong industrials space. So far, earnings are leaning in that direction in Japan.”
Nomura joined major Wall Street firms in reporting a business slump after the failure of two US. banks last month. US. stocks were mixed overnight, but the tech-heavy Nasdaq gauge gained following upbeat earnings from Microsoft Corp and Google operator Alphabet Inc.
Investors are awaiting US inflation data on Friday ahead of the Federal Reserve policy decision next week, while Japan’s central bank begins a two-day meeting on Thursday under new governor Kazuo Ueda.
The Nikkei share average had 152 gainers against 69 that declined.
Canon Inc surged 4.16% to its highest level since early December after the imaging giant lifted its profit forecast. Sony Corp jumped 3.54% ahead of results on Friday.
Toyota supplier Denso Corp 6902.T rose 3.44%, reversing an earlier skid, after a company executive said a chip shortage was likely to ease starting this summer.
Beverage maker Kirin Holdings slid 1.66% after saying it plans to acquire Australian natural health firm Blackmores Ltd for about 169.2 billion yen (USD 1.27 billion).
(Reporting by Rocky Swift; Editing by Rashmi Aich and Janane Venkatraman)