REFILE-Nikkei erases losses after BOJ chief's comment on weak yen; Fujifilm shines
(Refiles to fix tyop in first paragraph) * Traders take heart from Kuroda's comment at parliament on weak yen - traders * Market continues to focus on Kuroda's speech after policy meeting * Fujifilm soars after French and Guinean governments consider clinical trials By Ayai Tomisawa TOKYO, Oct 7 (Reuters) - Japanese stocks clawed back early losses on Tuesday in response to comments from the Bank of Japan governor on the impact of the weak yen, but investors remained cautious ahead of the bank's policy decision later in the day. "In general, a weak yen has some positive effect on exports and capital expenditure by pushing up revenues at companies with operations overseas. On the other hand, it's true a weak yen weighs on non-manufacturers' revenues by pushing up import costs," Kuroda told a parliament committee meeting in the morning. The Nikkei share average, which started in negative territory, ended the morning session flat at 15,897.31 after flirting with positive territory. "There were concerns about a negative impact of the weak yen on the economy as well, so his comment was assuring," said Nobuhiko Kuramochi, a strategist at Mizuho Securities. The central bank is likely to maintain its massive monetary stimulus but offer a bleaker view on factory output in its decision later in the day, and the market is more focused on Kuroda's news conference later. Fujifilm Holdings Corp stood out, outperforming the market and extending its prior day gains - up 4.7 percent at the midday break. It was the most traded stock by turnover. The company said on Monday the French and Guinean governments are considering clinical trials using its influenza drug Favipiravir developed by its group firm Toyama Chemical Co. to treat patients infected with the Ebola virus. "I started buying the stock when the news about the first patient in the U.S. came out," said a fund manager at a Japanese asset management firm, tipping more upside toward 5,500 yen. "If a panic spreads to other regions, it could hurt the global economy. I would keep Fujifilm among our top picks," he added. Exporters were stronger, with Toyota Motor Corp gaining 1.0 percent, Honda Motor Co adding 0.9 percent and Panasonic Corp rising 0.9 percent. The broader Topix rose 0.5 percent to 1,302.26, and the JPX-Nikkei Index 400 added 0.5 percent to 11,831.87. (Editing by Shri Navaratnam & Kim Coghill)
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