Japanese stocks rose for a second day Thursday, led by tobacco and semiconductor shares. The dollar fell against the yen.
The benchmark Nikkei 225 stock index rose 102.08 points, or 0.62 percent, to finish at 16,473.36 points on the Tokyo Stock Exchange.
Japan Tobacco, the world's third-largest tobacco company, surged 4.75 percent to 529,000 yen ($4,600) on a Financial Times report that it may bid for U.K.-based Gallaher Group PLC, which owns the Benson & Hedges and Silk Cut brands.
Gallaher acknowledged later that it had been approached by a potential suitor, which it declined to name. Japan Tobacco had no immediate comment.
Elpida Memory inched up 0.18 percent to 5,650 yen ($49.13) after reports that it plans to triple its DRAM chip production capacity with a new 800 billion yen ($6.96 billion) factory in Taiwan.
Elpida Memory and Taiwan's Powerchip Semiconductor Corp. said later that they have agreed to form a DRAM joint venture, in a move to become more competitive in the chip-making business.
Other gainers included electronics and machinery stocks, with Canon Inc. rising 3.09 percent to 6,340 yen ($55.13) and Kyocera Crop. posting a 1.94 percent to 10,510 yen ($91.39). Komatsu Ltd. added 1.19 percent to 2,125 yen ($18.48).
The broader Topix index, which includes all shares on the exchange's first section, was up 7.60 points, or 0.47 percent, at 1,622.77.
In currencies, the U.S. dollar bought 114.96-99 yen on the Tokyo foreign exchange market at 3 p.m. (0600 GMT) Thursday, down from 115.26 yen late Wednesday in New York. The euro rose to $1.3305 from $1.3285.
The yield on the benchmark 10-year Japanese government bond rose to 1.6700 percent from Wednesday's finish of 1.6400 percent. Its price fell to 100.25 from 100.51.
Source: AP News