Nikkei jumps 2.8 pct as short-covering heats up

* Europe bank tests eyed; worries seem to be easing

* Short-covering picks up pace; trade thin

TOKYO, July 23 (BestGrowthStock) – Japan’s Nikkei surged 2.8 percent
and was set to snap a five-day losing streak on Friday, boosted
as worries about the results of European bank stress tests eased
and by robust U.S. corporate earnings.

Short-covering helped buoy the benchmark Nikkei after it shed
nearly 6 percent in the past five days, market players said, with
the pace picking up in the afternoon amid thin trade.

Charts grew brighter as the Nikkei pulled away from oversold
territory, with the benchmark’s slow stochastic — a measure of
how oversold the market is and whether it is in a short-term up
or down trend — edging higher after a bullish cross on Thursday.

But market players remained wary.

“This jump is mainly coming from short-covering, it’s not a
move that will really lead the Nikkei sharply higher,” said
Kenichi Hirano, operating officer at Tachibana Securities.

“But if we manage to close at this level, we may be set for
more gains next week. And while it’s probably not good to be
over-optimistic, I think the stress test results are unlikely to
be that harsh.”

The benchmark Nikkei (.N225: ) rose 251.98 points to 9,472.86,
while the broader Topix (.TOPX: ) rose 2.3 percent to 844.10.

Semiconductor related shares rose in the wake of gains by
their U.S. peers on Thursday, with the Philadelphia Semiconductor
Index (.SOXX: ) rising more than 3 percent.

Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O: ) also reported a 48 percent rise in
quarterly profit after the bell, easily beating Wall Street
forecasts, though it failed to match chipmaker Intel Corp’s
(INTC.O: ) strong optimistic tone last week. [ID:nN21206486]

Chip-tester maker Advantest Corp (6857.T: ) rose 2.1 percent to
1,916 yen, chip equipment maker Tokyo Electron (8035.T: ) gained
3.6 percent to 4,695 yen, and stepper maker Nikon (7731.T: )
climbed 3.5 percent to 1,514 yen.

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Nikkei jumps 2.8 pct as short-covering heats up