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Market Update

Nikkei at 14-Year High and Banks Lead Market Advance

Author: Hiruki Nakamura
Last Update: 12:27 PM ET February 19 2015

4:30 PM Tokyo The benchmark index in Tokyo closed at a high not seen since 2000 after a catch up rally in large banks powered the latest market advance. Trend Micro soared 6% after the anti-virus software maker estimated higher than expected profit.

Stocks in Tokyo continued to advance higher and trade deficit in January narrowed after oil prices declined and exports surged at the fastest pace in the month in more than a year.

Large banks led the gainers and Sony advanced after the company forecasted increase in operating earnings and announced a plan to separate its sound and video business.

Trade deficit in January narrowed 57.9% to 1.18 trillion yen from 2.780 trillion yen a year ago month, the Ministry of Finance said today.

The department added exports in the month climbed 17% to 6.14 trillion yen from 5.25 trillion yen a year ago month while import plunged 9% to 7.32 trillion yen compared to 8.05 trillion yen in January 2014.

The Nikkei 225 Stock Average gained 65.62 or 0.4% to 18,264.79 and the broader Topix index rose to 12.26 to 1,494.93.

The yen weakened to 118.74 against one dollar.

Stocks in Review

Imagica Robot Holdings Inc surged 18.9% to 628 yen after the video for television service provider and Cool Japan Fund Inc.- the government-backed promoter and Sumitomo Corp agreed to acquire 50.1% stake in the U.S.-based movie translation company SDI Media Group Inc for 8.94 billion yen or $160 million.

Sony Corp gained 1.6% to 3,227 yen announced that it would spin off its video and sound business unit and establish a wholly owned subsidiary in October.

Senko Co Ltd jumped 2.2% to 702 yen after the transportation and logistic company reported net sales in the nine-month ending in December soared 22.3% to 295.28 billion yen from 241.35 billion yen a year ago period.

Net income in the period increased 1.9% to 5.63 billion yen compared to 5.53 billion yen and diluted earnings per share rose to 37.54 yen from 36.89 yen in the same period a year ago.

The company forecasted annual net sales to surge 19.8% to 400 billion yen and net income to jump 16.9% to 7.60 billion yen.

Trend Micro Inc soared 6.6% to 3,625 yen after the security software provider forecasted net income for the year ending in December of about 22.6 billion yen and year-end cash dividend per share of 116 yen.

Sources: Data collected by 123jump.com and Ticker.com from company press releases, filings and corporate websites. Market data: BATS Exchange. Inc