TOKYO, April 1 (Reuters) - Japanese stocks rose on Thursday, as investors snapped up shares of semiconductor-related companies on the first day of the new fiscal year on hopes for robust corporate earnings.
The Nikkei 225 Index rose 1.17% to 29,520.65 by 0214 GMT, while the broader Topix rose 0.68% to 1,967.30.
The technology sector led the advance after U.S. chipmaker Micron Technology Inc forecast third-quarter revenue above analysts’ forecasts.
The mood for Japanese equities also brightened after the Bank of Japan’s tankan survey showed business sentiment has returned to where it was before the onset of the coronavirus pandemic.
“What’s happening with Japanese tech shares is a reflection of what is happening in the United States,” said Takashi Hiroki, chief strategist at Monex Securities.
“We’re in a new fiscal year and a lot of institutional investor money is entering the market. Companies will start releasing earnings at the end of the month, and I expect a lot of forecast upgrades.”
Tokyo Electron Ltd rose 3.89% and at one point hit an all-time high as Micron’s bullish sales forecasts and a gain in U.S. technology shares on Wall Street boosted Japanese semiconductor-related stocks.
In addition, Micron and Western Digital Corp are individually exploring a potential deal for Kioxia Holdings Corp that could value the unlisted Japanese semiconductor firm at around $30 billion, the Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday.
Screen Holdings Co Ltd, another prominent chip-related company, rose 5.95%.
Dai-ichi Life Holdings Inc, surged by 9.62% after the insurer announced a share buyback.
Details of U.S. President Joe Biden’s $2.3 trillion infrastructure investment plan and a weakening yen also boosted sentiment, analysts said.
The underperformers among the Topix 30 were Mitsui & Co Ltd down 2.19%, followed by Toyota Motor Corp losing 1.74%. (Reporting by Stanley White; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)