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REFILE-Japan shares end higher as IMF forecast boosts hopes of higher earnings

·2 min read

(Refiles to correct paragraph 1 spelling of company Nitto Denko)

TOKYO, Jan 27 (Reuters) - Japanese stocks closed higher on Wednesday, on hopes of better corporate results after the International Monetary Fund raised its forecast for global growth, while shares of Nitto Denko jumped following a revision in its earnings outlook.

The Nikkei share average ended 0.31% higher at 28,635.21, while the broader Topix gained 0.65% to 1,860.07.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) raised its forecast for global economic growth in 2021 and said the coronavirus-triggered downturn last year would be nearly a full percentage point less severe than expected.

"Many of the Japanese stocks are sensitive to the global economy. Investors are taking a fresh look at Japanese shares after the IMF's global economic outlook," said Hideyuki Ishiguro, senior strategist, Daiwa Securities.

Equities in Asia, except Japan, fell, with MSCI's gauge of Asian ex-Japan shares slipping 0.3%.

Back home, electronic components maker Nitto Denko jumped 7.91% to a three-year high, after it raised its annual operating profit forecast to 90 billion yen ($867.89 million). The stock was the top gainer on the Nikkei index, followed by Canon, which jumped 6.71%, and Sharp with a gain of 6.15%.

Shionogi & Co gained 1.12% after the drug maker said it sold the development and marketing rights for a COVID-19 treatment to California-based biotech BioAge Labs Inc.

ANA Holdings fell 0.61% after the airline said it would suspend 16 international routes and reduce service to three other routes during the summer as the COVID-19 pandemic restricts travel around the world.

Energy and environment services firm Japan Asia Group was priced at a limit high of 1,090 yen after the shares were untraded on a glut of buy orders as U.S. buyout fund Carlyle Group increased its offer.

(Reporting by Junko Fujita; editing by Uttaresh.V)