Nikkei rises 0.3 pct as Intel boosts tech stocks

* Nikkei comes off 2-week low

* Intel’s bullish forecasts boost Advantest, chip stocks

* KDDI weighs after brokerage downgrade

* Toyota edges up despite suspension of Lexus SUV sales

By Aiko Hayashi

TOKYO, April 14 (BestGrowthStock) – Japan’s Nikkei average rose 0.3
percent on Wednesday, coming off two-week lows hit the day
before, as chip-linked exporters gained after Intel’s (INTC.O: )
sales and margin forecasts handily beat market expectations.

But telecoms firm KDDI Corp (9433.T: ) dropped 1.5 percent to
weigh on the broader market, after UBS downgraded it to “neutral”
and cut its target price, citing a likely near-term stagnation in
earnings growth.

“Intel’s earnings boosted investors’ expectations for solid
U.S. corporate earnings, which has led to hopes for similarly
good figures for Japanese companies,” said Kenichi Hirano,
operating officer at Tachibana Securities.

“Further rapid gains may be capped for now due to worries
about overheating, but the Nikkei is unlikely to push below its
25-day moving average, either. The index could try highs again,
perhaps around late April when a lot of earnings reports are
announced here.”

The benchmark Nikkei (.N225: ) gained 34.11 points to 11,195.34
by the midday break, with support seen solid around its 25-day
moving average of about 11,000. Profit-taking had pushed it lower
on Tuesday, with the index moving further away from last week’s
18-month high above 11,400.00.

The broader Topix (.TOPX: ) added 0.2 percent to 990.51.

The Nikkei’s relative strength index (RSI) fell as low as 61
after rising to a high of 76 last week. Anything from 70 and
above is considered overbought.

Market players also said some stocks could be sold off as
fund managers make room in their portfolios for Dai-ichi Life
Insurance (8750.T: ) because index compiler MSCI Barra is due to
add the stock to its indexes on April 15.

Toyota Motor Corp (7203.T: ) regained ground to edge up 0.4
percent to 3,720 yen. It initially slipped after suspending sales
of the 2010 Lexus GX 460 in the wake of a report by influential
nonprofit magazine Consumer Reports which said the sport utility
vehicle could roll over. [ID:nTOE63C08M]

Intel, the world’s top chip maker, forecast current-quarter
revenue of $10.2 billion, plus or minus $400 million, reinforcing
hopes for an acceleration in the tech sector’s recovery. Analysts
polled by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S, on average, expect $9.68
billion. [ID:nN1382801]

Intel also reported a stronger-than-expected first-quarter
profit and lifted shares of Advanced Micro Devices (AMD.N: ) and
stock index futures (SPc1: ), suggesting it will boost stocks when
the market opens on Wednesday.

In Tokyo, chip-tester maker Advantest (6857.T: ) jumped 2.5
percent to 2,490 yen and chip gear manufacturer Tokyo Electron
(8035.T: ) shot up 4.3 percent to 6,630 yen. Shin-Etsu Chemical
(4063.T: ), which makes semiconductor wafers, climbed 2 percent to
5,620 yen. Stepper maker Nikon (7731.T: ) rose 0.7 percent to 2,059
yen.

Investors are closely watching more earnings reports from
U.S. companies. Those scheduled to report later this week include
JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N: ), Google Inc (Read more about Google Stock Analysis) (GOOG.O: ) and Bank of
America Corp (BAC.N: ). [ID:nGLOEQUITY]

Stock Basics

(Editing by Edwina Gibbs)

Nikkei rises 0.3 pct as Intel boosts tech stocks