Nikkei ends at new 5-year high, Sony surges Fri Jan 27, 2006 02:39 AM ET By Eriko Amaha TOKYO, Jan 27 (Reuters) - The Nikkei share average rose 3.58 percent on Friday, posting its highest close in more than five years as Sony Corp.'s (6758.T: Quote, Profile, Research) surprisingly strong earnings a day earlier raised hopes for good results at other tech firms.
Bank shares extended gains following government data showing the nationwide core consumer price index rose, while brokerage firms advanced after Nikko Cordial Corp. (8603.T: Quote, Profile, Research) posted a four-fold rise in profits in the latest quarter.
"Earnings and optimism over an economic recovery both nicely supported the market," said Tomomi Yamashita, senior fund manager at Shinkin Asset Management Co. Ltd.
The Nikkei rose 569.66 points to 16,460.68, its highest close since September 2000 and its biggest one-day percentage gain since October 2002.
The close was also above the closing level of Jan. 16, the day before a sell-off sparked by an investigation into high-flying Internet firm Livedoor Co. (4753.T: Quote, Profile, Research) sent the benchmark as low as 15,059.52.
The Nikkei rose 4.87 percent on the week.
The broader TOPIX rose 2.86 percent on Friday to 1,690.32.
Masaru Ueda, head of the investment strategy division at Marusan Securities Co. Ltd., said the market looked ready to aim higher.
"The Livedoor investigation was an unexpected event, but in hindsight the market just had a normal correction," he said. "I would expect the next rally in February."
Shares of Sony, the most active issue by value, surged 14.2 percent to 5,800 yen, posting their biggest one-day percentage gain since October 1990.
After the market closed on Thursday, Sony reported a 47 percent jump in quarterly operating profit and raised its full-year outlook to a profit from a loss. [ID:nT251471]
Other electronics makers also gained ground, with Sharp Corp. (6753.T: Quote, Profile, Research) jumping 6.4 percent to 2,150 yen yen and Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. Ltd. (6752.T: Quote, Profile, Research) up 4.8 percent at 2,530 yen.
Hitachi Ltd. (6501.T: Quote, Profile, Research) ended up 2.5 percent to 825 yen. The company told Reuters it planned to set up a flat panel television plant in Europe that will begin operations by January 2007, the latest in a wave of expansion steps by Asian electronics makers. [ID:nT290696]
Trade volume rose to 2.43 billion shares on the first section, the highest total since Jan. 19. Sony, the sixth-most active issue, accounted for 1.7 percent of the number of shares traded.