Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Japanese Stocks Rise on Weaker Yen; Property Developers Gain

By Masaki Kondo and Chen Shiyin

Jan. 17 (Bloomberg) -- Japanese stocks advanced, rebounding from four days of losses, after the yen weakened against the dollar, boosting the value of exporters' overseas sales.

Canon Inc., Japan's biggest office-equipment maker, advanced 1.8 percent, while Toyota Motor Corp. rose 1.3 percent. The yen weakened to as low as 107.64 yen against the dollar in New York, after rising to as much as 105.92 yen yesterday.

``The yen has stopped strengthening, which will help stocks rise,'' Hiroyuki Fukunaga, chief executive officer of Investrust Inc., said in an interview with Bloomberg Television. ``Stocks are relatively cheap now in terms of price-earnings ratios.''

The Nikkei 225 Stock Average advanced 105.29, or 0.8 percent, to 13,609.80 as of 9:12 a.m., while the broader Topix index climbed 10.60 or 0.8 percent, to 1,312.97.

Mitsubishi Corp. jumped 2.9 percent after Goldman, Sachs & Co. raised its rating on the stocks to ``buy/attractive'' from ``buy/neutral.''

Real estate-related stocks gained after the Nikkei newspaper reported that the government's monthly economic report for January will say housing construction is showing signs of recovery. The newspaper did not say where it got the information.

The Topix index is valued at 16 times earnings, compared with an average of 29 times for the past four years. This makes Japan cheaper than markets in China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia and Taiwan and Thailand.

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