Japanese shares rise on upbeat corporate earnings, U.S. stimulus

TOKYO, Feb 5 (Reuters) - Japanese shares rose on Friday, following Wall Street’s rally overnight, as strong earning results of domestic firms and a large U.S. stimulus program boosted market sentiment.

Nikkei share average gained 1.06% to 28,641.72 by 0152 GMT, while the broader Topix gained 1.03% to 1,884.38.

The S&P 500 and Nasdaq posted record closing highs overnight, as Democrats pushed ahead with U.S. President Joe Biden’s proposed $1.9 trillion stimulus plan without bipartisan support.

“A bigger economic stimulus package in the U.S. is good for the global economy and that optimism is lifting economic-sensitive shares in Japan,” said Masahiro Ichikawa, chief market strategist at Sumitomo Mitsui DS Asset Management.

“Investors also have started buying the virus-beaten shares ahead of the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines in Japan.”

Automakers are leading Nikkei index’s gain, with Mazda Motor jumping 18.52% after the automaker cut its loss forecasts.

Mitsubishi Motor gained 13.78% and Subaru rose 8.8%.

NTT Data jumped 9.66% after Nomura Securities raised its target price to 1,960 yen from 1,560 yen.

Railway companies continued their rally, with Central Japan Railway rising 4.0% and West Japan Railway increasing 3.94%.

Takeda Pharmaceutical edged up 0.46% after the drug maker said its nine-month profit more than doubled from a year earlier.

Tokyo Rope surged 7.69% as a steel maker opposed a bid by Nippon Steel, which is trying to boost its stake in the smaller affiliate.

Japan Asia Group jumped 6.9% after an activist fund launched a bid to buy the energy and environment firm which has agreed to be bought by Carlyle Group.

Reporting by Junko Fujita; Editing by Krishna Chandra Eluri