Nikkei rebounds on weaker yen; Sony soars on growth outlook
By Joshua Hunt
TOKYO May 25 (Reuters) - Japanese stocks rebounded on Wednesday morning as exporters received a boost from a stronger dollar following firm U.S. housing data and as growing support for the British campaign to remain in the European Union bolstered global risk appetite.
The Nikkei share average climbed 1.7 percent to 16,783.41 in late morning trade, putting the benchmark index on course to snap a two-day losing streak.
"The rally we're experiencing today is based in part on the latest Brexit polls showing that the 'remain' votes have moved further ahead," said Stefan Worrall, director of Japan equity sales at Credit Suisse.
"The other factor is strong U.S. housing data and comments coming out of the U.S. that have increased confidence that there could be a June rate-hike."
Fresh data on Tuesday showed new U.S. single-family home sales surged to a more than eight-year high in April and prices hit a record high, offering further evidence of a pick-up in economic growth, which helped the dollar rebound from recent weakness against the yen.
Japan's automakers, which rely heavily on export sales for profits, got a boost from the weaker yen. Toyota Motor Corp climbed 2 percent while Honda Motor Co Ltd shares rose 2.5 percent and Nissan Motor Co Ltd gained 1.1 percent.
Home appliance and electronics exporter Panasonic Corp also gained on the weaker yen, rising 3.4 percent by late morning.
Sony Corp soared 7 percent after the electronics and entertainment giant reported earnings that suggested strong underlying performance, notwithstanding the impact of the April earthquakes on some of its operations. Market players said the company is poised for growth due to its strong position in games and virtual reality hardware.
The broader Topix added 1.4 percent to sit at 1,345.32 with all but one of its 33 subindexes in positive territory by late morning.
The JPX-Nikkei Index 400 rose 1.4 percent to 12,143.61. (Reporting by Joshua Hunt; Editing by Sam Holmes)
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