People Want To Drive Not To Communicate

The Nikkei rose 31.95, or 0.3 percent, to 9866.35. The Topix index gained 4.17, or 0.4 percent, to 966.45. The index that tracks the performance of automakers accounted for a quarter of the Topix's gain. Nikkei futures for September delivery fell 20 yen to 9860 in Osaka and lost 15 yen to 9860 in Singapore. According to orders placed before the market open, overseas investors bought 1.6 million more shares than they sold through 12 brokerages. Toyota was the biggest contributor to the Topix's gain, rising 60 yen, or 2 percent, to 3,000. The first- quarter profit more than doubled to 352.4 billion yen. Toyota, which was Japan's most profitable company last year, raised its annual sales forecast and expects to break earning records again this year. Nissan Motor Co. added 9 yen, or 1 percent, to 874. It is expected annual profit to rise to a third straight record. Mazda Motor Corp. rose 9 yen, or 2.8 percent, to 332. It plans to sell 7,000 of its new Demio compact cars a month, contributing to the automaker's bid to increase unit sales in Japan by 12 percent this business year. The index that tracks the performance of computer-related companies was the Topix's biggest decliner. Some investors said that the index's 5.3 percent rally yesterday was excessive. The Nikkei surged 3.5 percent after U.S. rival Cisco Systems Inc. reported better-than-expected results. Tokyo Electron Ltd. slumped 130 yen, or 2.4 percent, to 5,270. Last week, the world's second-largest maker of chip- production equipment cut its annual sales forecast after saying a rebound in orders has already started to stall. Advantest Corp., the biggest maker of equipment used to test computer memory chips, slumped 40 yen, or 0.7 percent, to 5,750. Fujitsu Ltd. declined 19 yen, or 2.9 percent, to 641. The Defense Agency decided to suspend Japan's largest business computer maker yesterday from bidding for agency projects after Japan's biggest business computer maker allegedly violated the terms of a contract, according to the Nihon Keizai newspaper. Phone stocks such as NTT DoCoMo Inc. fell after Japan's three largest mobile-phone companies said they added a third fewer subscribers in July than the same month a year earlier. July was the 11th straight month the companies added fewer customers than a year earlier. ©

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