TOKYO, March 5 (Xinhua) -- Tokyo extended gains Wednesday, with the benchmark Nikkei stock index rising 1.20 percent as Russian President Vladimir Putin's comments regarding the geopolitical situation in Ukraine settled investors nerves and spurred buying on dips.
Analysts said that while the market here had already largely factored in the Ukraine situation, Putin saying that after his forces took control of the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea, war was not an option and force would only be used as a last resort, further helped calm investor jitters over the issue.
Hiroichi Nishi, an equities manager in Tokyo at SMBC Nikko Securities Inc., noted that market concerns had been rife that if military action were taken by Russia, the price of crude would spike and damage the outlook for the global economy. He added that investors were becoming less risk averse following the unlikelihood of military force in the near future.
But other analysts, like Yutaka Miura from Mizuho Securities Co. , said that some investors were still sticking to the bylines in wait-and-see mode for cues ahead of the European Central Bank's policy meeting Thursday and a U.S. jobs report for February due out at the end of the week.
Such circumspect stances as the situation in Ukraine unfolds and ahead of key economic data contributed to thin trade Wednesday, brokers here said.
The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average added 176.15 points from Tuesday to finish at 14,897.63, while the broader Topix index of all First Section issues on the Tokyo Stock Exchange gained 8.79 points, or 0.73 percent, to close at 1,212.90.
The U.S. dollar's appreciation to the 102 yen level buoyed buying of export-related issues, as earnings outlooks are directly affected by dollar-yen currency moves and competitiveness and profits boosted when the yen is weak versus its U.S. counterpart.
Honda subsequently accelerated 1.3 percent to 3,732 yen and consumer electronics behemoth Sony jumped 2.1 percent to 1,783 yen.
Toshiba added 0.9 percent to 447 yen and Fujitsu leapt 3.6 percent to 634 yen, following UBS upping its rating on the firm's stock to "buy" from "neutral" and raising its target price for Fujitsu's shares.
But while TDK gained 1.8 percent to 4,360 yen, Fuji Heavy retreated 1.8 percent to 2,685 yen, following the manufacturer cutting its net-income forecast below median analysts' expectations.
Developer issues remained in the spotlight Wednesday, with Mitsubishi Estate leaping 5.2 percent to 2,549 yen, while rival Mitsui Fudosan jumped 3.6 percent to 3,155 yen. Sumitomo Realty & Development, meanwhile, also closed in positive territory at 4,334 yen, a rise of 3.5 percent at the 3 p.m. bell.
Trading volume on Wednesday rose to 1.99 billion shares on the Tokyo Exchange's First Section, up from Tuesday's volume of 1.93 billion shares, with advancing issues outnumbering declining ones by 1,110 to 516.