Japan stocks rise as Honda, Sony get earnings lift
Japanese stocks rose on Friday,with Honda Motor Co and Sony Corp jumping afterposting strong earnings. Canon Inc also rose. It posted a decline inquarterly profit but kept its full-year outlook on the back ofstrong demand for its digital cameras. Still, strong gains by these blue chip were slow to translateinto a big advance in the overall market as investors remainedcautious ahead of more earnings to come, with the Nikkei average edging up 0.8 percent. "Sony results are a surprise. But there is a concern about aslowdown in U.S. consumer spending. So, we cannot expectsustained growth in its share price," said Takahiko Murai,general manager of equities at Nozomi Securities. "Overall, there's a chance exporters could cut theirfull-year outlook if the situation in the United States turnsworse than expected." As of 0102 GMT, the benchmark Nikkei was up 125.61 points at16,409.78. The broader TOPIX index was up 1 percent at1,563.33. Honda jumped 6.2 percent to 3,940 yen after Japan'ssecond-biggest automaker posted a forecast-beating 63 percentjump in quarterly earnings as strong sales of its new CR-Vcrossover made up for higher raw materials costs, and it raisedits full-year net profit forecast on a lower tax rate.[ID:nSP249666] Sony rose 6.9 percent to 5,460 yen after it reported a swingto a quarterly operating profit on Thursday on strong sales ofpersonal computers and digital cameras, raising its full-yearforecast by 2 percent. Canon climbed 2.2 percent to 5,700 yen. Asahi Breweries Ltd gained 4.5 percent to 1,784 yenafter it said on Thursday it will launch a $477 million bid tobuy out minority shareholders in Asahi Soft Drinks as it looks toreduce its reliance on Japan's sluggish beer market.[ID:nT179415] Asahi Breweries said it would offer 2,120 yen per Asahi SoftDrinks share, a 14 percent premium to Thursday's closing price of1,860 yen. Asahi Soft Drinks Co Ltd jumped 13.4 percent to2,110 yen.