Japan's Nikkei hits over one-month high; Sony jumps on robust outlook

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 Japan's Nikkei hits over one-month high; Sony jumps on robust outlook
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TOKYO, Feb 3 (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei index on Friday rose to its highest level in more than a month, underpinned by the Nasdaq's strong performance overnight, with Sony Group and others leading the charge after issuing strong outlooks.


The Nikkei share average was up 0.43% at 27,513.75 by the midday break, after rising as much as 1% to touch its highest level since Dec. 16. For the week, the index is set to rise 0.5%.

The broader Topix rose 0.21% to 1,969.27, but is on course to lose 0.69% for the week.

"Companies' outlook was clearly reflected in their share prices, like Sony," said Takamasa Ikeda, senior portfolio manager at GCI Asset Management.

"Investors wanted to confirm their outlook before making active bets."

The Nasdaq and S&P 500 ended higher overnight and touched roughly five-month highs as a more dovish-than-expected message from Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell boosted equities and Meta Platforms shares soared on rigorous cost controls.

Sony Group jumped 4.75% after the game maker raised profit forecast and raised its PlayStation 5 game console sales target by one million units to 19 million for the year to March.

ANA Holdings rose 1.94% after the operator of Japan's largest airline raised its full-year profit forecast as travel demand recovers.

On the other hand, competitor Japan Airlines slipped 3.3% even as it returned to profit.

Z Holdings surged 14.08% after announcing a merger with a messaging app company Line Corp and internet firm Yahoo Japan.

Among losers, Panasonic Holdings fell 3.57% after the maker of electric appliances cut its annual operating profit forecast.

Precision machineries was the top gaining sector among the 33 industry sub-indexes, with contact lenses makers Hoya and Menicon gaining 4.44% and 2.07%, respectively. (Reporting by Junko Fujita; editing by Uttaresh.V)

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