Japanese shares rise on hopes for better corporate outlook

·2 min read

TOKYO, May 20 (Reuters) - Japanese shares rebounded on Friday from a fall of nearly 2% in the previous session as investors scooped up beaten-down stocks on hopes for growth in earnings of domestic companies.

The Nikkei share average rose 0.9% to 26,640.61 by 0212 GMT and was set to gain nearly a percent for the week. The broader Topix added 0.47% to 1,868.89 and was on course for a weekly rise of 0.49%.

The gains came even as Wall Street closed lower overnight, hurt by fears about the broadening impact of inflation and a plunge in Cisco Systems due to its dismal outlook.

"Japanese equities were firm today even as the Dow and S&P had extended their losses," said Shigetoshi Kamada, general manager at the research department at Tachibana Securities.

"Overall, corporate outlook is relatively strong, and many made modest forecast for currencies, which means there may be a further upside toward the end of the year."

Uniqlo owner Fast Retailing rose 2.77% and provided the biggest boost to the Nikkei, followed by technology start-up investors SoftBank Group, which climbed 3.42%, and chip-making equipment maker Tokyo Electron, which added 1.21%.

Seiko Epson surged 8.81% and was the top gainer on the Nikkei after the watch maker announced a buyback of up to 9.35% of its shares.

Tokyo Gas fell 2.97% and was the biggest loser on the index after a report said the gas provider would shoulder increasing costs as there was a limit on how much it could pass them on to consumers.

Hoya rose 4.4% and was the top gainer among the top 30 core Topix names, followed by staffing agency Recruit Holdings, which rose 4.28%.

Touch panel maker Keyence fell 2.87% and was the worst performer among the top 30, followed by retailer Seven & i Holdings, which lost 1.77%.

There were 155 advancers on the Nikkei index against 67 decliners.

(Reporting by Junko Fujita; Editing by Aditya Soni)

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