TOKYO, Jan 12 (Reuters) - Japanese shares rebounded on
Wednesday, as investors scooped up beaten-down stocks after
less-hawkish comments from U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome
Powell helped Wall Street regain ground.
The Nikkei share average closed 1.92% higher at
28,765.66, its biggest daily gain since Dec. 21, while the
broader Topix rose 1.64% to 2,019.36, after three
straight sessions of losses.
U.S. stocks bounced overnight, with the Nasdaq leading the
advance, as investors digested Powell's remarks that interest
rates were likely to rise this year, as expected.
"Powell's remarks were not as hawkish as we had expected,
and that boosted the U.S. growth stocks and the Japanese market
followed suit," said Ikuo Mitsui, fund manager at Aizawa
"But this momentum may not last for long because we have
U.S. consumer price data, and depending on its outcome the U.S.
market may decline, which will affect the Japanese market."
U.S. consumer inflation data is due later in the day, with
headline CPI seen coming in at a red-hot 7% on a year-on-year
basis, boosting the case for an early increase in interest
Nikkei heavyweights led the gains, with chip-making
equipment maker Tokyo Electron rising 3.75%,
tech-investor SoftBank Group jumping 6.03% and Uniqlo
clothing shop owner Fast Retailing adding 1.75%.
Shares that were sold off recently due to their high
price-earnings ratios regained as U.S. Treasury yields fell.
Sensor maker Keyence jumped 4.98% after losing more
than 11% over the past week, while motor maker Nidec
rose 2.63% after losing 7% during the same period.
Inpex rose the most on the Nikkei with a gain of
6.48%, and Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha, which climbed 5.03%,
was also a top performer.
Eisai, which fell 2.31%, was the worst performer in
the Nikkei, followed by Shinsei Bank, losing 1.65%.
(Reporting by Junko Fujita; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)