Nikkei rises as solid U.S. stocks, rebound in oil prices calm jitters
* All 33 subsectors in positive territory * McDonald's Japan slides to 11-month low * Corporate earnings likely to lift stocks in late Jan - analysts By Ayai Tomisawa TOKYO, Jan 8 (Reuters) - Japanese stocks rose on Thursday morning with all subsectors up after gains in U.S. and European shares and a rebound in oil prices eased investor jitters. The Nikkei rose 1.8 percent to 17,187.02 by mid-morning, after adding 0.01 percent on Wednesday, just managing to snap a four-day losing streak. Wall Street was supported after strong private sector U.S. jobs data and as minutes from the last Federal Reserve meeting reassured investors the central bank was in no hurry to start raising interest rates. European shares rallied on reports of deflation for the eurozone, which had investors speculating that the European Central Bank will enhance its stimulus program. Oil prices bounced back, snapping a four-day losing streak. "Sentiment is supported by such overseas developments and investor concerns are eased for now," said Toshihiko Matsuno, chief strategist at SMBC Friend Securities. He said Thursday's gains are seen as a technical rebound, but the Japanese market is expected to start seeing solid gains as companies start reporting October-December earnings. "Exporters as well as companies that benefit from inbound demand will likely lead gains in the market starting at the end of the month," he said. In the longer-term, analysts expect companies to post strong full-year earnings, and Daiwa Securities forecasts Japanese companies to post a 9.7 percent rise in their pretax profits for the year ending March compared to the previous one. According to Daiwa senior strategist Makoto Morita, the forecast is conservative as it is based on an foreign exchange rate at 110 yen against the dollar, and the forecast will likely be revised. "A double-digit gain is possible this fiscal year," Morita said, adding that if the yen weakens by 10 yen against the dollar, it will push up pretax profits by 3 percent. On Thursday, exporters were in demand as the dollar climbed back above 119.00 yen, pulling away from a three-week trough of 118.36 plumbed on Tuesday. Toyota Motor Corp rose 1.8 percent, Honda Motor Co added 1.8 percent and Advantest Corp gained 2.2 percent. McDonald's Japan slipped 2.0 percent to an 11-month low in heavy trade after it apologised to customers after objects including a tooth and plastic were found in its food. The broader Topix added 1.2 percent to 1,375.96, with all 33 of its subsectors rising. The JPX-Nikkei Index 400 gained 1.3 percent to 12,465.45. (Editing by Richard Borsuk)
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