Sunday, August 19, 2007

LEAD: Nikkei rises nearly 600 pts in morning on Wall St. surge, weaker yen+

(AP) - TOKYO, Aug. 20 (Kyodo)—(EDS)

Tokyo stocks rebounded sharply Monday morning after last Friday's plunge, lifting the Nikkei index nearly 600 points due to higher U.S. shares and a weaker yen.

The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average surged 562.89 points, or 3.69 percent, to end the morning at 15,836.57, rebounding from its more than 870-point plunge Friday, the largest one-day fall in over seven years. The index surged to as high as 15,871.92 at one point in the morning, up 598.24 points.

The Topix index of all First Section issues on the Tokyo Stock Exchange was up 53.89 points, or 3.64 percent, to 1,534.28.

Brokers said worries over the recent global stock market turbulence prompted by concern over the U.S. subprime loan crisis eased as U.S. and European shares rebounded sharply Friday following the U.S. Federal Reserve's surprise move to cut the discount rate by half a percentage point to 5.75 percent.

"Expectation grew that battered global stocks may revert to their normal states in the near future" following the Fed's action and consequent stock rebounds overseas, said Hiroichi Nishi, equities chief at Nikko Cordial Securities Inc. He said that given the extent of the recent sharp falls, investors were motivated to launch bargain- hunting.

A wide range of shares were snapped up, with wholesale, marine transport, oil, and nonferrous metal sectors leading the way.

With the dollar recovering to the 114 yen level following its slump to a 14-month low at the 111 yen level Friday in Tokyo, export-oriented auto and high-tech stocks also attracted active buying.

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