REFILE-Nikkei gains capped by Ebola case in New York
(Fixing Airtech's company code in 7th paragraph) * Nikkei advances on weak yen, Wall Street gains * First confirmed case of virus in New York limits gains * Helath stocks Airtech, Fujifilm rise By Thomas Wilson TOKYO, Oct 24 (Reuters) - Japanese shares rose on Friday on the back of a weaker yen and Wall Street gains, but its advance was capped by reports of an Ebola case in New York City which sent U.S. stock futures lower. The Nikkei share average was up 0.7 percent at 15,241.94 points at 0129 GMT. A physician with Doctors without Borders who returned to the United States after treating Ebola patients in Guinea tested positive for the virus, the New York Times said. The first confirmed Ebola case in America's largest city and financial capital highlighted the spread of the disease and sparked renewed concerns in the Japanese market. "The fears are there, and they're firmly in investors' heads," said Mitsushige Akino, chief fund manager at Ichiyoshi Asset Management in Tokyo. Tokyo-listed shares in firms manufacturing Ebola-related products jumped in response. Air filter manufacturer Airtech Japan Ltd leapt 13.14 percent, while health protection device maker Shigematsu Works Co Ltd soared 10 percent. Fujifilm Holdings Corp, which makes the Avigan drug hoped to be a potential cure for the deadly virus, also rose 2.3 percent. Japan's health minister said there is a stockpile of enough of the drug for 20,000 people, according to the Jiji news agency. Fujifilm said on Monday it was expanding production of its Avigan anti-influenza drug to reach an additional number of Ebola patients. [ID: nL3N0SF5A0] The Nikkei had opened brightly, bouyed by a depreciating yen and a strong Wall Street performance after corporate earnings continued to beat expectations. The yen was at 107.92 against the dollar, pulling away from two-week lows against the dollar hit early on Friday as U.S. stock futures tumbled on reports of the New York Ebola diagnosis. [ID: nL3N0SJ16I] The Japanese currency had come under renewed pressure overnight after Wall Street gains reduced demand for the safe haven currency. The depreciation of the Japanese currency helped export shares, with Toyota Motor Corp jumping 1.9 percent and Panasonic Corp rising 1.1 percent. Also causing the yen to lose ground was media reports on concerns within the Bank of Japan that inflation may slip below 1 percent, well off the central bank's target of 2 percent. That may increase the possibility of further monetary easing, and sharpened investor focus on the BOJ's monetary policy meeting next Friday. Hitachi Ltd shares rose 4.4 percent after the firm upwardly revised its earnings forecast. Also boosting stocks was positive U.S. jobs data that showed new claims for unemployment benefit holding below 300,000 for a sixth straight week, suggesting that the U.S. labour market was unperturbed by global growth worries. <ID: nL2N0SI0VJ> The broader Topix rose 0.7 percent to 1,241.10, while the new JPX-Nikkei Index 400 also advanced 0.7 percent to 11,290.51. (Reporting by Thomas Wilson; Editing by Kim Coghill)
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